Karthikeyan to Test New Car Only a Week Before Bahrain Opener

New Delhi, Jan 26 (IANS): India's Formula One driver Narain Karthikeyan will test drive Hispania Racing Team's (HRT) new car only a week before the season opener in Bahrain.

The car named F111 was earlier expected to be ready for the third pre-season test in Barcelona but HRT team principal Colin Kolles Wednesday confirmed that it would be introduced at the fourth and final winter test in Bahrain. The opening race is scheduled from Mar 11-13.

That also means the lower-ranked team will go with the 2010 car for three European tests in Jerez, Valencia and Spain.

"The 2010 car will be utilised at the first tests, and as soon as the 2011 car is ready, we will implement it. The plan is to use the 2011 car at the Bahrain test. It will be a completely new car, and will be called the F111," said Kolles.

The Hispania outfit had a lacklustre season last year as it failed to score a point. But with the arrival of Karthikeyan and an upgraded car, the team is hoping for a better show this time around.

"Last year we did not have the opportunity to do the tests, and this new season we are able to give our drivers the opportunity to do more mileage and to get used to the new Pirelli tyres."

On the F111 he said: "The car is being made with several groups of engineers. At the moment, there are approximately 40 designers finalising the first spec. It looks more developed and improved. I would say it is a package that was able to qualify in the top ten last year," said Kolles.

The team is yet to decide on a second driver's spot and has ruled out the name of last year's driver Karun Chandhok, the second Indian to drive a F1 car.


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Title: Karthikeyan to Test New Car Only a Week Before Bahrain Opener

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