Narain Karthikeyan has predicted that strategy will play a 'deciding role' in the 2012 F1 Spanish Grand Prix next weekend.

The event will be a special one for HRT, as it is one of the teams home races [see separate story - HERE], however, with Pirelli opting to take its hard and soft compounds to the Circuit de Catalunya, Karthikeyan reckons tyres will again be a key talking point.

"Catalunya is a great all-round circuit, highly demanding and aero dependent. It is a track I know well, and it is the first time this season we have the hard and soft tyre allocated, so the gap in lap times will be significant and strategy will play a deciding role," he confirmed.

"We [HRT] don't know the specifics of tyre behaviour since we didn't test pre-season, but as the compounds are softer this year, the degradation, especially on the soft, will be high because of the high-lateral loading through corners like turn three.

"The circuit is aero sensitive too, because of the high amount of winds which often change direction so getting the setup right early on will be crucial.

"There are a few upgrades coming as well which will help us unlock some more performance from the car and give us the ability to compete with our closest rivals.

"It is the first of our team's home races so we are motivated to do our best," he summed-up.