Narain Karthikeyan believes HRT will qualify for the Malaysian GP after finishing inside the 107 percent rule in Friday's practice.
HRT missed the first race of the season as neither Karthikeyan nor Pedro de la Rosa managed to qualify for the grand prix. And it looked as if the team could be in for more of the same in Friday's FP1.
The duo again missed the mark as Karthikeyan amassed just eight laps before he was hit by a hydraulic issue and de la Rosa was 7.5s off the pace.
The team did succeed in improving in the afternoon's session as both drivers upped their pace enough to get within 107 percent of the P1 time.
"In the morning session we suffered some reliability issues, the same as in Melbourne but not as bad and we've also got some cooling issues too," Karthikeyan said.
"In the afternoon these issues persisted on Turns 13 and 14 where I wasn't able to select the gears properly but the important thing is that we're within the 107 percent time and can continue to improve and be in better conditions.
"I definitely felt the difference with regards to Australia but we need a lot more. This is one of the hardest races of the year so we're going to need to work hard to be able to have a good performance."