It was shades of Andrea Moda today at Albert Park when Hispania Racing looked set to repeat its debut efforts from last year, missing out on the opening practice session due to neither of its car being built.
Indeed, the team looked to miss an entire day’s running until the Spanish outfit finally finished the assembly of Vitantonio Liuzzi’s car, which was fired up and sent out for a single installation lap – the car’s very first lap ever – before the second practice session came to a close.
Liuzzi’s team-mate Narain Karthikeyan found himself playing spectator the entire day with his car not being ready.
The team has already used one of its four curfew exemptions granted to each team by the FIA for the 2011 season, where it allows teams’ mechanics to perform work late into the night – typically for situations such as chassis rebuilds after major accidents.
Despite these challenges, a clearly exhausted team boss Colin Kolles was thrilled to have one car up and running at least.
“Tomorrow will be another day of hard work and hopefully more progress. As for today, I must thank the whole team for their effort and hard work, they did a great job. I am very proud of them,” he said.
Added Liuzzi: “It’s been a big effort from everybody, the mechanics and engineers have worked day and night to get the car ready. It’s very positive to have the car on the ground and we now have some numbers to work on for tomorrow. We are looking forward to tomorrow as it is our first chance to put in some laps together and get some information on the car.”
It is widely expected that neither driver will manage to qualify for Sunday’s race.
[Original images via GP Update]