HRT not permitted to race in Melbourne
18 March 2012 – HRT has not been allowed to take part in the Australian Grand Prix. The Spanish team applied for a special dispensation after failing to qualifying on Saturday.
On Saturday, Lewis Hamilton qualified on pole position with a best effort of 1:24.922. In 23rd place, Pedro de la Rosa led the HRT charge with a leading lap time of 1:33.494 – eight and a half seconds slower, with team-mate Narain Karthikeyan a further two tenths back.
After qualifying, HRT – which did not test over the winter after failing two FIA crash tests – applied to the FIA race stewards, hoping to be granted an allowance; it was duly decided that the team would not be allowed to contest for the second consecutive season.
The stewards’ report reads as follows:
‘The Stewards received a request from HRT F1 Team to allow car 22 Pedro de la Rosa and car 23 Narain Karthikeyan to take part in the race under exceptional circumstances having failed to set a lap time within 107% in Q1.
The Stewards having considered all relevant material decide to not allow both cars to take part in the race in accordance with article 36.1 FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations.’