New Delhi: Narian Karthikeyan is confident of finishing the season-opening Australian Grand Prix with his untested car -- F112-- but admitted that after missing out on testing sessions in Jerez and Barcelona, the job has become tough for his Hispania Racing team.
Hispania could not ready its car for either of the two pre-season testing programmes. It failed the crash test before the Jerez testing and missed out on the just-concluded Barcelona testing since the car was not ready.
"Certainly it isn`t ideal. We would have liked some mileage and tyre data under our belt before heading to Australia," Karthikeyan said from Barcelona.
A F1 car is required to pass all the tests before it`s allowed to race.
The 35-year-old Indian racer was keeping his fingers crossed on the performance of the car.
"It basically means that the learning curve will be much steeper, and there won`t be a lot of breathing space in case something goes wrong," he said.
"No one wants reliability issues, but given our tight timeframe it is critical that the car is reliable enough to complete a race distance at Australia and enables us to find a stable baseline for the following flyaway races to improve upon, before we head back to Europe," he added.
The Indian is now eyeing the free practice session ahead of the Melbourne race to get behind the wheels and collect inputs.
"To be honest we are going to be effectively testing on the race weekend in the real sense of the term, as one day of filming, we have next week, will allow us only 100km of running on demo-spec Pirelli tyres. This would merely enable us to carry out some systems` check and give me a chance of getting back in a car after last year`s Indian GP," Karthikeyan said.
"But Australia is where the real race against time will start, our objective will be to use the free practice sessions to dial in the car, allow me to get up to speed and ensure that the package is reliable enough to go the race distance."
Karthikeyan said had they passed the crash test, they could have tested the car in Barcelona.
"If it hadn`t been for one failed crash test, which for the first time has to be passed before testing, the car would`ve undoubtedly made it to the first Barcelona test. It is not unusual for even bigger teams having to test parts twice before passing it, so it was just one of those things that are a part of F1," he said.
He though lauded the new team management for their efforts in getting the car ready for the season.
"Given the rampant restructuring in the team, we have a lot of new personnel onboard now, the new car was though commissioned mid-last year just before the management changed. So, we have been working hard with the limited resources and compared to the previous two years, the team did a great job in getting a brand-new car ready in time."