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DATE News (chronologically)
03/13/10
f1
Chandhok may contest qualifying in Bahrain UPDATE (GMM)  Karun Chandhok has one last chance to make his formula one debut this weekend in Bahrain.

After missing Saturday morning's third and final free practice session due to persistent technical problems with his HRT car, the Indian's weekend appeared over.

FIA rules state that "no driver may start in the race without taking part in at least one practice session".

But an official for the governing body clarified that qualifying is also a practice session, with article 33 of the sporting regulations referring to 'qualifying practice'.

Chandhok told BBC television before qualifying that he hopes "not to get in anyone's way, this is just to get a few laps under my belt".

03/13/10 (GMM) Karun Chandhok's debut weekend appears over, after the Indian rookie failed to get in any practice laps prior to qualifying for the Bahrain grand prix.

After sitting out all of Friday with technical problems, he was at least at the wheel of the stationary HRT car on Saturday morning.

But even though his mechanics had not returned to the hotel overnight, the Dallara-built single seater would not engage first gear.

FIA rules state that "no driver may start in the race without taking part in at least one practice session".

"We got in the car and everything seemed ok this morning but once again (there were) some problems with the hydraulic system," Chandhok told the BBC.

"It's driving us crazy at the moment," he added.

In the other car, teammate Bruno Senna improved his Friday lap times during 11 practice laps, but the HRT is still several seconds slower than the next-slowest Lotus and Virgin cars.

It was also a miserable session for the new Virgin team, with FIA officials unhappy about Timo Glock's wheel falling off due to a loose nut, and Lucas di Grassi doing no laps with a gearbox problem.

Also struggling was Lewis Hamilton, whose McLaren was restricted to 8 laps due to a brake duct failure, while Jenson Button was outpaced by the Ferraris, Mercedes and Red Bulls.

Fernando Alonso impressed onlookers with a quick 1m54s in the Ferrari, in front of Nico Rosberg, who for the third consecutive practice session was faster than his teammate Michael Schumacher.
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