HRT fails to get car ready for pre-season testing by Karthikeyan

New Delhi: Narain Karthikeyan will have to wait till the Formula One season opener in Melbourne to get his hands on the HRT`s new car with the Spanish outfit failing to get the F112 ready in time for the final pre-season testing Saturday-Sunday.

Karthikeyan, who signed with HRT for the second year running, has not driven since the Indian Grand Prix in October. The first race of 2012 is at Albert Park March 18.

"Confirmed, no testing on Sunday. More news to come as soon as there would be any," a HRT official said on Saturday.

The new-look HRT team was hoping to complete the car for final day of the third pre-season test at the Circuit de Catalunya after passing the FIA`s mandatory crash tests.

Karthikeyan was with the team in Munich, Germany, to give his seat fitting measurement, but the crew could not manage to ship the car soon enough to get it running on the last day of the testing in Barcelona.

The 35-year-old, however, was still positive about getting a run.

"We are still trying to get the car finished. Failing which we will run in Barcelona on Monday," Karthikeyan said.

The back of the grid team could not get their 2011 car ready until the free practice session in Australia and its drivers Karthikeyan and Vitantonio Liuzzi failed to even qualify for the race.

India`s first entrant into F1 was hopeful of getting behind the wheels for the last two days of testing and had earlier said the failed crash test made things difficult for them to finish work on the car.

"Doing both Barcelona tests would have definitely given us more data to work with, and also allowed us to venture into the setup territory. But the bottom line is we will have to make the best of the situation. Hadn`t it not been for one failed crash test, which for the first time this year needs to be passed before testing, we would have made it to the first Barcelona test as well," Karthikeyan had said Thursday.

HRT was formed in 2010 and since then it is yet to unveil its new car at the pre-season tests.