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Last 2012 car unveiled as HRT’s F112 breaks cover 06 Mar 2012

The HRT F112 launch, Circuit de Catalunya, Spain, March 5 2012 The HRT F112 launch, Circuit de Catalunya, Spain, March 5 2012 Narain Karthikeyan in the HRT F112, Circuit de Catalunya, Spain, March 5 2012 Narain Karthikeyan in the HRT F112, Circuit de Catalunya, Spain, March 5 2012 Narain Karthikeyan in the HRT F112, Circuit de Catalunya, Spain, March 5 2012 Narain Karthikeyan in the HRT F112, Circuit de Catalunya, Spain, March 5 2012

HRT became the final team to reveal their 2012 challenger on Monday afternoon as they took the wraps off the F112 at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya. The new car then made its on-track debut at the Spanish track, with driver Narain Karthikeyan behind the wheel.

"Today was a shakedown of the F112 and I have had the honour to be the first driver to test it,” said Karthikeyan. “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.”

With its debut delayed following a failed crash test, the new Cosworth-powered HRT wasn’t ready in time to participate in last week’s final pre-season test. But once the car had been homologated, the team worked tirelessly to ensure it would complete some track time before the season opener in Australia later this month.

The F112 eventually only arrived at the Barcelona circuit on Monday afternoon and, after some final adjustments by the team’s mechanics, Karthikeyan made it out on track just four hours later. The Indian managed to complete over 10 laps as he carried out system checks.

“I’m very satisfied today as it is a very important day for us because we were able to test some things out with the new car during this filming day,” said team principal Luis Peres-Sala. “I’m very proud of each and every member of this team because everyone has contributed their little bit for this to be possible. Now we have to focus on Australia because we still have a lot ahead.”

Karthikeyan’s team mates Pedro de la Rosa, Dani Clos and Vitantonio Liuzzi were also present at the track to watch the car’s debut, as well as Carlos Gracia, President of the Spanish Motorsports Federation and Salvador Servia, General Director of the Circuit de Catalunya.

“Today has been a very special day because the car saw the light for the first time; Narain did some installation laps and then various times laps without any issues,” added De la Rosa. “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 conditions. From here it is our job to try and improve it and make it progress.”

The team will now continue their preparations before journeying to Melbourne for the 2012 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, which takes place in the Australian city from March 16-18.

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