Narain Karthikeyan confident HRT will have a better weekend in Malaysian Grand Prix
|By Pablo Elizalde||Monday, March 19th 2012, 08:24 GMT|
Narain Karthikeyan is confident his HRT team will enjoy a better weekend in Malaysia than it did in Australia.
The Spanish squad completed very little running in Melbourne as was hindered by problems with its car, which had only completed a shakedown prior to the grand prix weekend. Both Karthikeyan and team-mate Pedro de la Rosa failed to qualify for the race.
And although Malaysia will be one of the toughest races of the season for all the teams, the Indian is optimistic the weekend will be easier.
"It wasn't an easy first weekend for us in Melbourne but the team is working hard and we hope to complete the maximum amount of kilometres with the new car so that we can have it in prime conditions for qualifying and the race," Karthikeyan said.
"The team is working on solving the reliability issues that we encountered, so I'm confident that things will go better in Malaysia. Sepang is a circuit that I like a lot and a place where I have raced numerous times.
"This was the only grand prix out of the eight that I took part in last year that I didn't finish, so this year I'm looking to firstly qualify and then finish the race, that is the main objective."
De la Rosa, who was unable to use DRS in Australia, believes the main focus should be on trying to solve the issues with the system as well as the power steering.
"Our two main priorities for Malaysia are to have DRS and improve the power steering in this short time that we have whilst being away from Europe," said de la Rosa. "In Australia we were only able to complete seven timed laps so I need get more track time, get to know the car better and improve the set-up.
"If we can achieve this then we could have a good grand prix. Sepang is probably the toughest track of the year both for car and driver. Mechanically it's very demanding because besides there being a lot of consecutive high-speed corners it is very hot and humid."