HRT has confirmed that its 2012 car, the F112, will finally make its track debut on Monday.
Recently, the FIA barred Red Bull and Ferrari from tweaking their test schedules so that their Barcelona running could end on Monday. But struggling backmarker HRT asked its rivals for special permission, given it had yet to use its separate allowed test day for ‘filming and promotional’ purposes.
Actually, the Cosworth-powered HRT is also being launched, debuted and shaken down, after a failed FIA crash test delayed progress for a team already recovering from a change of ownership and the exit of boss Colin Kolles. A report in the German press said HRT has been focused not only on the ‘step nose’ 2012 car, but also buying up all the infrastructure needed for a new F1 team — like pitstop wheel guns at EUR 4000 apiece. The team said Narain Karthikeyan will do the driving at the Circuit de Catalunya on Monday, with Pedro de la Rosa and reserve Dani Clos also on hand.
EFE news agency quotes de la Rosa as admitting the first six months this year will be “very hard” for HRT.
Other Spanish reports said the F112 was finally fired up in the factory on Sunday.
“I’m very happy,” said de la Rosa, “but also I know how much work is ahead, because we are two months late and we are starting with virtually no preseason.”
Referring to Monday’s shakedown, he added: “It’s better than nothing and, for us, it’s almost a victory,” de la Rosa is quoted by Mundo Deportivo.