HRT has this evening released the first images of its car for the new season following a shakedown at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya, finally completing the line-up for the 2012 grid with little over a week to go before the first practice session in Melbourne.
Like chief rivals Marussia, who rolled out its 2012 challenger this morning at Silverstone, the Spanish-owned team has taken advantage of the regulations that allow for 62 miles of running for filming purposes after its chassis didn’t pass all of the crash tests in time to compete at Barcelona last week.
With those tests now passed, Narain Karthikeyan was given the honour of giving the car its maiden laps, with the F112 featuring a revised colour scheme following last year’s white, red and black arrangement.
Unlike the new Marussia, the car does go with the wider 2012 trend of a stepped nose and once more on-car sponsorship is sparse, with Spanish cleaning products brand KH-7 the only notable new arrival on the rear wing.
Pedro de la Rosa, who returns to full-time racing with the team from his homeland this year at the age of 41, revealed at last week’s FOTA Fans’ Forum that the car had been designed to include KERS, but that a decision on whether to fit the energy-storage device would be deferred until later in the season.
Having missed out on testing its new car in an official test once more this winter, HRT will simply arrive in Australia next week looking to avoid the problems of last year when both their drivers failed to lap within 107% of the fastest Q1 time and were barred from starting the race.