New HRT signing Narain Karthikeyan has admitted that he has concerns over HRT's ability to qualify for the Australian Grand Prix after the team's new F111 contender did not turn a wheel during winter testing.
The new car was unveiled during the final preseason test at Barcelona but did not actually run, meaning that the Indian – who returns to Formula 1 for the first time since 2004 – and his teammate Vitantonio Liuzzi have six hours running time between them on Friday to sort out any new-car niggles with the chassis.
"It is a concern," said Karthikeyan in Melbourne on Thursday. "We need a car that is a good step forward, so it should be a positive step but until you try it you never know. We will see what happens, I can go on and on."
Karthikeyan added that he did not feel rusty after such a long lay-off, saying that he was pleased to have the experienced Liuzzi as a benchmark.
"Things have changed a lot, the old car was not too bad, I have a good teammate in Tonio so easy to see where I am," he said. "We had some mileage in the old car but the new car we have to see how it goes tomorrow, it will be the first time, we have to see what happens."