HRT targeting race finishes in Australia 22 Mar 2010
With no pre-season testing, the Bahrain Grand Prix was never going to be an easy undertaking for new team HRT. But following a disappointing double DNF at Sakhir, the Spanish outfit are targeting a much more successful outing at this weekends Australian race.
We have worked extremely hard since the Bahrain season opener, said team principal Colin Kolles. We have worked long hours and successfully with Bridgestone, Cosworth and Xtrac learned from our first laps with the car and found a good basis from which to start preparation for our second Grand Prix in Australia in a few days.
We have successfully repaired the damage sustained by Karun Chandhoks car and focused on building our cars reliability. Our goal is to improve steadily and the next step is to work towards our first race finish. I am confident we will achieve this goal very soon and having seen how we came together as a team in Bahrain I can see just how much potential and commitment we have.
Chandhok covered just eight laps over the course of the Bahrain weekend, with technical issues on his car preventing him from carrying out any practice runs. He completed seven laps in qualifying and just one in the race itself, before spinning off into retirement. Despite his troubles, the Indian is optimistic about Australia.
I am really looking forward to my second F1 race this weekend, he said. I have never driven in Melbourne, but I am a very quick learner. I was able to work on a teams simulator before the Grand Prix so that will help my familiarisation a little bit! Our next step with the teams engineers is to make the car reliable for the race. The secret of good racing preparation is to complete as many laps as possible on Friday to see where we are with the car. Finishing the race would be a fantastic achievement we will strive for.
Chandhoks team mate Bruno Senna managed several practice runs in Bahrain, but retired from the race when a radiator leak stopped his car in its tracks on Lap 18. With a win on the Albert Park track already under his belt, albeit in Formula Three, Senna is hopeful HRT can enjoy a better finish this weekend.
We need to continue building on what we achieved in Bahrain, said the Brazilian. We put two cars together and ran successfully in Bahrain. Now we must continue to work as a team. I came early to Australia to acclimatise to the time difference. I love Australia more and more, as I spend more time here! I have already driven on the Melbourne track, back in 2006.
I did the F3 support race for F1 back then and had a fairly successful weekend. I won! Now, I must work with the team to continue learning about the car. I have enjoyed working long hours with the team so far and I will be giving my all as I really want to progress and guarantee them good results.
The Australian Grand Prix will take place from March 26-28.