The HRT F1 Team will not take part in Sunday's Australian Grand Prix, the opening round in the 2012 F1 World Championship, after the stewards refused to grant the Spanish-outfit permission to race.
Pedro de la Rosa and team-mate Narain Karthikeyan both failed to set a qualifying time within the 107 percent in Q1. As a result they had to ask for permission to race, and after deliberation, the stewards decided not to grant it.
“The Stewards received a request from HRT F1 Team to allow car 22 Pedro de la Rosa
and car 23 Narain Karthikeyan to take part in the race under exceptional circumstances having failed to set a lap time within 107 percent in Q1,” read a statement to the media.
“The Stewards having considered all relevant material decide to not allow both cars to take part in the race in accordance with article 36.1 FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations.”
It is the second year in succession HRT have failed to make the grade for the race and comes after the squad again failed to have its new car ready for any of the winter tests.
“It's obvious that we still have a lot of work ahead to be where we should be,” said HRT team principal, Luis Perez-Sala, “and even more to improve on that potential, but today was the first time we were able to complete both sessions with both cars and that is positive
“Although today wasn't the result we desired, we've fixed some of yesterday's issues and were able to spot out the weakest points. Now we can work on them and find a solution. These solutions aren't immediate but with every day and every session we're in better conditions. Time is precious and next week in Malaysia we'll have another four sessions to prepare for the next race”.
“We did all we could today,” added de la Rosa. “The team put in a great shift and just making it to today was an accomplishment for us, because these days have been very hard for all of us, including the drivers. But there's a lot of room for improvement and, although it's true that we have to change many things, we know what they are, so all I can say is that we need to be patient.
“I already said it when I arrived on Wednesday, this is a test for us, it's our preseason. The downside is that we're doing it in front of the cameras because everything is more evident.
"We should have done it before but we lacked the time, so now all we can do is work for Malaysia and the following races and focus on the important areas to make the car quicker,” he concluded.