HRT hoping to debut 2012 car on Sunday

HRT is hoping to get one up on its tailender rival Marussia by at least running its 2012 car before shipping it to Australia.

Marussia, formerly Virgin, has announced that after failing an FIA crash test, it will be unable to run its new Cosworth-powered car at the final Barcelona test this week.

“Of course it’s a shame,” German driver Timo Glock told the DPA news agency, “but safety comes first.”

HRT’s 2012 single seater, however, has – despite a similar delay – at least now satisfied the FIA’s safety rules and is therefore allowed to run at the Circuit de Catalunya if able. Indeed, in the Barcelona paddock this week, the HRT motor home is present. But team figures Pedro de la Rosa and boss Luis Perez Sala have admitted that, while now homologated, the 2012 car is not quite ready to be tested.

“The truth is that, today, the goal is to try to debut on Sunday,” de la Rosa is quoted by the Diario Sport newspaper. “If not, we would have the possibility to do a test on Monday.”

The FIA has already declared that testing on Monday – the day after the final official Barcelona test ends – is not allowed because that would be the week before Melbourne. But HRT is yet to do its allowed filming day, team boss Perez Sala is quoted as saying on Wednesday.

“We are in the construction phase of the car and it would be great to have it ready for Sunday,” added de la Rosa.

The former McLaren test driver also revealed that HRT’s new car is designed to run KERS, unlike the 2012 Marussia.

“It is designed to use it, but the team has decided to start the season without (KERS),” said de la Rosa.