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Karthikeyan and De la Rosa refused permission to race in the Austrailan GP

768   //    17 Mar 2012, 21:38 IST

Narain Karthikeyan and Pedro de la Rosa won’t be allowed to race in tomorrow’s Australian Grand Prix, after both the drivers from the Hispania Racing Team failed to qualify within the 107% qualifying rule.

It was always going to be struggle for the team as they’ve been lackluster with their timings throughout the pre-season and in all the practice sessions in Melbourne.

De la Rosa, the Spaniard finished with a lap timing of 1’33.495, while Karthikeyan clocked 1’33.643, well outside the 107% time of 1:32.214.

The stewards declined the formal request from HRT, which confirmed their absence from the grid in tomorrow’s race.

“The stewards having considered all relevant material decide not to allow both cars to take part in the race in accordance with Article 36.1 FIA Formula 1 Sporting Regulations,” a statement read.

Although Karthikeyan complained about the failure of DRS during the qualifying sessions, he also admitted that getting onto the grid was always going to be difficult with this car.

“I didn’t have the DRS working and had issues with the power steering, so we could have easily been in,” he said. “The DRS alone is worth about nine tenths, and the power steering is virtually non-existent, it’s almost impossible to drive. I think the problem is that they hydraulics are getting so hot, the viscosity of the fluid is thinner.”

Looking ahead to the Malaysian Grand Prix, Narain is a bit wary about the car’s performance.

He said, “With HRT I was under a false impression with the new car. I obviously knew there would be problems but I thought we could get in, and I am very wrong. I don’t see it as a long-term problem but I won’t be surprised if Malaysia is the same situation. Back to backs in a situation like this is almost impossible; we have a few small remedies but to work on the hydraulics is a humungous job. It won’t happen overnight. By China we should be okay, relatively speaking.”

Written by: Hardik Vyas

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