HRT qualifies for the first time in 2012
24 March 2012 – Despite rounding out the Sepang grid with 23rd and 24th places, HRT is pleased to have qualified for the first time this year. Pedro de la Rosa leads the way and this follows a failure to make the 107 percent threshold in Australia one week ago.
“It was a good day,” Spaniard de la Rosa reported. “From the first lap in the morning I felt that the car had improved notably and we improved our times significantly. We’ve lowered our time by more than a second from yesterday to today and every time we modify something new we’re going quicker.
“We could have improved our times even more during the qualifying session. I was only able to do one lap, but it was enough. The important thing was to qualify and we did. The team has proved that, in a short amount of days, it managed to have the DRS ready and improve the power steering and other aspects of the car.
“We’ve taken a huge stride and I’m very satisfied because of that. Now we have to see how tomorrow goes in long distance because it will be the first time we string so many laps together, which won’t be easy in this weather.”
In Melbourne, the team packed up early. The 107 percent rule returned to Formula 1 at the start of last season, removing cars which are deemed dangerously slow for the race.