Karthikeyan: F112 'definitely a step up' for HRT
Narain Karthikeyan says that HRT's new F112 is "definitely a step up from last year" after driving the car for the first time at the Circuit de Catalunya.
HRT was able to shake its new car down at Barcelona on Monday during a filming day after the car was not ready in time to take part in pre-season testing. Karthikeyan drove the car on the demonstration Pirelli tyres but says that he was still able to feel that it was an improvement on the F111 which he drove in 8 races last year.
"I have had the honour to be the first driver to test it," Karthikeyan said. "The first impressions are quite good; it's definitely a step up from last year. We couldn't do any set-up work or stuff like that but everything seems to be working fine and there are no major problems so we can look forward to the season now.
"Everyone has worked hard and the new team management has put everything together in a very short period of time. They've done a proper job with the car and I'm sure that it's a big step forward from last year, so hopefully we can take the competition to the teams we were fighting last year."
Pedro de la Rosa said it was important that no major issues had been found during the filming day in order to allow the team to focus on improving it in Australia.
"Today has been a very special day because the car saw the light for the first time," he said. "Narain did some installation laps and then various times laps without any issues. This is very important, it might not seem like it, but any sort of mileage before Australia is vital to see that the car is in good condition. From here it is our job to try and improve it and make it progress."
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