HRT will take wings at Sepang: Karthikeyan | india | Hindustan Times
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HRT will take wings at Sepang: Karthikeyan

india Updated: Oct 14, 2011 17:20 IST

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Narain Karthikeyan's first weekend back in Formula One was a huge let down but the Indian is confident he will finally go racing at next month's Malaysian Grand Prix.

After four years out of the sport, the 34-year-old Chennai native returned with Formula One strugglers HRT for last weekend's season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

With no pre-season testing and virtually no time in practice, however, Karthikeyan and his Italian team-mate Vitantonio Liuzzi were unable even to straggle as they failed to qualify for the race.

"At the start of the week, we thought we were going to race because we knew the new car was capable of it, but it just took so long (to put the car together)," Karthikeyan told Reuters at the team's hospitality at Albert Park.

"The majority of the work is done, but the fine details just go on and on and on.

"You needed a complete car or it doesn't make any sense to go out.

"We know it is a really bad situation but there's no point in complaining about it," he added.

In the end, Karthikeyan got out for the final practice session with absolutely no set up and understandably set a time 17 seconds behind Sebastian Vettel in the quickest car.

Qualifying was better but both cars still failed to set a time within 107 percent of the top time in the first session, the criteria for taking part in the race.

Sepang familiarity
The second round of the championship takes place at Sepang in Malaysia on April 10 and with some new parts, the former Jordan driver thinks he will be able to show that he can still perform at the highest level.

"I'm pretty sure I can adapt pretty quickly," he said. "I know the Malaysia circuit really well."

"If we get the new front wing," he added, before correcting himself. "Not if, we are going to get it. We are reasonably confident that we will qualify and if all these things happen then we don't have any excuse not to qualify for Malaysia."