Narain Karthikeyan firmly believes he can qualify for the upcoming Malaysian Grand Prix, despite his Hispania Racing team achieving the sport’s first double-DNQ on the return of the 107% qualifying rule at the Australian Grand Prix.
The financially strapped Spanish outfit had a nightmare race weekend as it kicked off its second championship season, losing practice time while its two cars were being built and then failing to post a quick enough lap time to make the grid for Sunday’s race.
Another problem the new F111 chassis experienced was that it ran with the 2010 front wing from the F110, because its 2011-spec front wing failed to FIA crash test.
“We are going to get [the new front wing],” the Indian driver told Reuters.
“We are reasonably confident that we will qualify and if all these things happen then we don’t have any excuse not to qualify for Malaysia … I think we are going to surprise a few people.”
But most insiders will be surprised if the Cosworth-powered cars will be able to make the Sepang grid, but Karthikeyan insists that the return of the 107% rule is good for the credibility of the sport.
“Basically, they don’t want jokers to come in,” he added. “We respect the 107 per cent rule. We are a serious team.”
[Original image via Pilotoons]