Both HRT F1 cars passed their second ever qualifying successfully completing ten laps each in Q1, and significantly improving from their morning time to 1.30.526 for Bruno Senna and 1.30.613 for Karun Chandhok. They posted laps in the mid 1m30s bracket - six seconds away from the fastest driver in Q1. Unlike Bahrain they will start their HRT F1 from the grid for tomorrow’s Australian Grand Prix.
Karun Chandhok was one of the first few cars to go out in a busy first qualifying session. Chandhok was comfortably on the pace in his first run with a string of fast laps on the prime tyre. For the last run Chandhok switched to the option tyre, using it for the first time since he made his debut in the Bahrain GP. On his second lap there was too much graining on the tyres making it hard to go any faster.
Chandhok commented, “I am quite pleased with my performance in qualifying. Due to a fuel pressure problem I had in the morning I never had the chance to run on the option tyre. Running on the option tyre in qualifying for the first time was always going to be tough. I managed to put in some strong laps in the first half of Q1 but on the last run there was too much graining on the front tyres which meant we could not go any faster. Nevertheless the team is very happy and it is good to see that we are moving in the right direction. We have made a significant step forward from the last race and it is really encouraging to see that we are a lot closer to the other new teams. Finishing the race is definitely our aim as we need to get as much mileage as we can.”
Dr. Colin Kolles, Team Principal, commented, “To have both cars go through the Q1 session is a good result. After the hard work we have been doing, it is nice that we can focus on finer details now. Both drivers did a good job in this second qualifying and handled all the pressure extremely well. Congratulations to the whole team for a great job.”
Chandhok completed 11 laps in the final practice session in the morning outpacing his teammate on his way to a 1:34:334. Fuel pressure problems cut his practice short as he prepared to go out on his low fuel option tyre run.