HRT delighted to make Sepang grid

Date published: April 9 2011

Hispania have accomplished their first goal in Malaysia and now they are looking to reach their second target by seeing the chequered flag…

Hispania have accomplished their first goal in Malaysia by qualifying for the race and now they are looking to reach their second target by seeing the chequered flag on Sunday.

The Spanish-based outfit were determined to make it onto the grid in Sepang after missing out in the season-opening Australian GP under the 107 per cent rule.

There was no repeat of their Melbourne disappointment on Saturday as both Narain Karthikeyan and Tonio Liuzzi qualified comfortably inside the 107% time.

Karthikeyan admitted afterwards that everyone at Hispania is delighted to have turned things around so quickly.

“We made it through qualifying which was our aim for today,” he said. “The car is virtually brand new so it’s good to get some more mileage done, the more time we can get out on the track the better. I flat spotted my second set of tyres on turn one so it was hard to set a good time with them after that but everybody worked extremely hard and we’re delighted to be in the race.

“We marked Sepang on the calendar beforehand as one of the toughest circuits to get under the 107% time so it’s a great satisfaction to have done it. Now I hope to finish tomorrow’s race and get a lot more laps under my belt with the new car. They’re forecasting rain for tomorrow so you never know what will happen out there.”

Meanwhile team principal Colin Kolles says their next target is to see both cars finish the race on Sunday.

“We made the next step by qualifying into the race. This was our target: to qualify and to be able to do more laps. By doing more miles we are understanding the F111 better and our drivers are getting more and more out of it. Both drivers did a good job out there today, Tonio set a very good baseline. Now we have set a base from which to work from in the future.

“Once more, I would like to thank the whole team for their massive effort. Now we have our next target in mind which is to keep doing laps and finish tomorrow’s race with both cars.”