HRT set to use new front wing in Sepang
|By Jonathan Noble
||Thursday, April 7th 2011, 06:17 GMT
HRT's hopes of making it through qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix have been boosted with the team ready to run its 2011 front wing for the first at Sepang.
The outfit had been forced to revert to its 2010-specification wing in Australia, with its latest version having not passed the mandatory FIA crash tests in time.
However, the team has now completed those tests and it is shipping the wing to Sepang - with Vitantonio Liuzzi believing it will be worth up to seven tenths of a second per lap.
"We are motivated and positive because we should have the front wing," explained Liuzzi in the Sepang paddock on Thursday.
"Everything has been okayed from today, so we should receive it [the wing] before the beginning of the session tomorrow. We have a lot of new parts arriving and we are positive we will be in a much better shape than in Australia.
"We cannot say we will be inside for the race, but I am sure we will be really close to Virgin and will close the gap. Here in Malaysia it is the worst track for 107%, but I am pretty sure that if we will not get in, the other teams will struggle, because our pace will improve a lot and we will reduce a lot the gap to our competitors."
Although HRT failed to get within the 107 per cent time in Australia after facing a race against time to get the cars ready for qualifying, Liuzzi thinks the team has not shown anywhere near its full potential yet.
"Our laptime issue was just lack of kilometres because in seven laps we achieved a good lap time for a car that we had never driven. It's a completely different car to last year because the rear end is completely different.
"We had issues because we couldn't use the front wing that was supposed to be developed for the car for the rest of the aerodynamics, plus there were some other issues.
"So everyone was surprised what we achieved in such a short time with the lap time. It was a shame that we had the stupid problem in the morning on the Saturday because it was just an issue with a button that switched off the car. So already with FP3 we would have been in a much stronger position for qualifying."