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Karthikeyan to run on Friday in Japan

Narain Karthikeyan to drive in Friday practice at Suzuka
HRT has confirmed that Narain Karthikeyan will get another Friday practice outing at next weekend's Japanese Grand Prix.

The Indian driver, who made a return to the cockpit during Friday practice in Singapore, will replace Tonio Liuzzi for the opening session of the weekend at Suzuka as he continues preparations for his return to the grid for his home race at the end of October.

Liuzzi will then take over at the wheel for the remainder of the weekend, which he admits will be far from easy for the Spanish strugglers given the high-speed nature of the Suzuka circuit.

However, on a weekend where he will wear a special helmet to support victims of the earthquake back in March, Liuzzi said the team would continue to push hard, with the possibility of rain improving their chances.

“We're reaching the final straight of the championship with the next event in Japan,” he said. “Suzuka is one of my favourite circuits and definitely one of the nicest tracks. It is a really fast and technical circuit where set up and aerodynamics are key to having a good result. It won't be an easy place for us but we will put up a fight until the end. We are really motivated to keep on pushing until the end of the season.

“Weather conditions are uncertain, which could be interesting since experiencing difficult weather conditions in Japan may give us a better chance of achieving a good result. For this Grand Prix I've wanted to pay my respects to the victims of the earthquake that struck Japan earlier this year by wearing a special edition helmet named Embracing Japan designed by Kaos Design, the helmet will later be put up for auction with the benefits going towards charity."

Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo will be making his debut at Suzuka but team boss Colin Kolles said he expected the Australian to quickly get up to speed.

“We expect the updates that we brought to Singapore to slightly improve our performance under such conditions,” he said. “Tonio's experience and skills will certainly contribute to this improvement while Daniel will find himself again facing a new challenge at a track that he has never driven around before, although I am sure he will adapt to it and push as he has done over the past races.

"After the earthquake that struck Japan earlier this year, it is important that Formula One goes back there and we all show our support and commitment to the country and the Grand Prix. Singapore was a tough race but we had a positive weekend overall closing the gap to our rivals and having both cars finish the race. We have to continue making steps forward.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
22.07.2011- Friday Practice 1, Narain Karthikeyan (IND), Hispania Racing F1 Team, HRT, Test Driver
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23.09.2011- Friday Practice 1, Narain Karthikeyan (IND), Test Driver,  HRT Formula One Team
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Kf1 - Unregistered

October 01, 2011 6:28 PM

Not good enough for F1?? He has won in every single seater championship hes raced in except F1. Despite being away from F1 for 6 years and racing trucks the year before, this year within the 1st 3 or 4 races he was within tenths of Liuzzi and I am sure he would have matched up to him if he hadn't been replaced by Ricciardo (due to money) and in the couple of practice sessions hes driven in since then, he has performed remarkably well! Emerson Fittipaldi said that he would definitely win in F1 if he had a car thats capable! He set fastest non f1 lap at interlagos and the list goes on!

John - Unregistered

September 30, 2011 5:00 PM

Why is Karthikeyan still getting F1 drives when its clear he is not good enough for F1? TATA needs to spend money on something else rather than continuing to fund this guy - he has no place on an F1 grid.

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