Wing boost for Hispania

07/04/2011
NEWS STORY

Hispania's hopes of qualifying for this weekend's Malaysia Grand Prix have been given a boost after the team's front wing passed the FIA's mandatory safety test.

With the car not having turned a wheel ahead of the first practice session of the season - precisely what happened in 2010 - the chances of the Spanish team taking part in the race in Melbourne were always going to be slim - and that's without the reintroduction of the 107% rule.

Sure enough, the team, whose drivers finished Q1 7.682s (Liuzzi) and 8.997s (Karthikeyan) off Vettel's 1:25.296 benchmark, was not allowed to participate in the following day's race.

This weekend however, there is a far more positive atmosphere within the Spanish outfit, the team buoyed by the fact that its front wing has been approved.

"Everything has been okayed from today, so we should receive it before the beginning of the session tomorrow," Liuzzi told reporters in Sepang. "We have a lot of new parts arriving and we are positive we will be in a much better shape than in Australia."

The Italian believes the new wing could be worth as much as 0.7s a lap though this still doesn't guarantee that the two Spanish cars will make the cut come Saturday afternoon.

"We cannot say we will be inside for the race," he admitted, "but I am sure we will be really close to Virgin and will close the gap. Here in Malaysia, it is the worst track for 107 percent, but I am pretty sure that if we will not get in, other teams will struggle, because our pace will improve a lot and we will reduce the gap to our competitors."

Looking back to a frustrating weekend in Melbourne, the Italian added: "We had issues because we couldn't use the front wing that was supposed to be developed for the car for the rest of the aerodynamics, plus there were some other issues.

"Everyone was surprised at what we achieved in such a short time with the lap time. It was a shame that we had the stupid problem in the morning on the Saturday because it was just an issue with a button that switched off the car."

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Published: 07/04/2011
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