Narain Karthikeyan says a finish is his aim as he prepares to make a return to F1 competition this weekend in his home event.
Karthikeyan, who was replaced in the HRT line-up prior to the British Grand Prix, will be back in action for the Spanish team for the inaugural Indian Grand Prix after being given the chance to race in place of Tonio Liuzzi.
Despite taking part in free practice at a number of recent events, Karthikeyan said he was keeping his expectations in check for the weekend and was simply aiming to get his car to the finish to give the home fans reason to cheer.
“First of all, as I have been saying, I did not think in my racing career that I would be racing in India and here we are just around the corner,” he said. “With the circuit, again like everybody else, it is wide in some places, I am sure lots of different lines you are going to see, lots of overtaking. It is definitely a very challenging circuit, with lots of run off areas and so on, so they have done a very good job, no doubt.
“I can say so many things, but the realistic thing with our car is to possibly finish the race and beat your team-mate. If you do that, I think at the moment, we can't expect much more. It is an historic and symbolic moment that an Indian driver is on the grid and, of course, there is a lot following Formula One for a long time. There will be a lot of fans here. It will be hard to explain but it is what it is. I want to enjoy the weekend, have a lot of fun, and try and do the best I can do.”
Karthikeyan added that it was going to be a special feeling when he heads onto the circuit for the first time in Friday practice.
“I just need to relax and from tomorrow it is going to be different, you are in the car a lot,” he said. “I just want to enjoy the whole atmosphere. My family, everyone is coming. All the sponsors and so on so it is a huge day for Indian motorsport and those first few laps tomorrow are going to be very special.”