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Karthikeyan chases qualifying boost

Narain Karthikeyan targets a better qualifying performance in the remainder of the F1 season
Narain Karthikeyan says he needs to improve on his qualifying performance through the second half of the F1 season.

The Indian driver has failed to qualify higher than team-mate Pedro de la Rosa in any session so far this season, although his performances on race day have been more encouraging, even though HRT remains a long way from scoring points.

Speaking in a Q&A released by the team, Karthikeyan insisted that he was pleased with his race displays so far but wanted to get closer to the pace shown by de la Rosa in qualifying – with lack of knowledge of the Pirelli tyres compared to the Spaniard working against him.

“I think that my race performance has been very strong, with my 15th place in Monaco standing out, but in qualifying I've been a bit weaker,” he said. “Right now I'm about three tenths behind Pedro and that's something I have to improve in this second half, no doubt about it.

“The tyres have been quite difficult to get used to and Pedro has a lot of experience with Pirelli and McLaren. He's a very good driver who hardly makes mistakes and I must learn from him to improve.”

Karthikeyan added that his performance in qualifying was holding him back when it comes to giving himself a mark for the season so far.

“We all know that the start should have been better in normal circumstances, but with the changes that had to be made and other things we inherited, it wasn't possible,” he said. “To make it to Australia with the car on time was an achievement in itself. We've moved on from that and have progressed a lot. For now I give myself a 6 or a 7, and if I improve my results in qualifying, then an 8 or a 9.

“From where we are now, it would be great to match and beat my team-mate Pedro who has been a good benchmark. Added to that, if we finish ahead of Marussia in the championship standings that would be a successful season.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
28.07.2012- Free Practice 3, Narain Karthikeyan (IND) HRT Formula 1 Team F112
27.07.2012- Free Practice 2, Narain Karthikeyan (IND) HRT Formula 1 Team F112
27.07.2012- Free Practice 2, Narain Karthikeyan (IND) HRT Formula 1 Team F112
16.07.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 race winner and Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MCL32
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Maria de la Rosa (ESP) at the Amber Lounge Fashion Show.
Maria de la Rosa (ESP) at the Amber Lounge Fashion Show.
13.04.2017 - Luis Garcia Abad (ESP), manager of Fernando Alonso (ESP) and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32
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Elio de Angelis
26.11.2016 - Free Practice 3, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31 and Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
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rjbetty - Unregistered

August 17, 2012 2:14 AM

If he succeeds in improving his qualifying, Karthikeyan might even reach as high as 23rd! I'm mean. :) In all seriousness though, I truly believe Karthikeyan is the most under-rated driver in F1. His qual pace is on average maybe +1.2sec off drivers like Hamilton. In 2005 at Jordan it was probably more like +1.5sec. He has done well in the circumstances and is actually very talented, as his driving to victories at Brands Hatch in British F3 in 1999 show, and also in the rain! It's that the level of the drivers is higher now than it's ever been. In the mid 90s this guy would be scoring points in a midfield team and be praised.


August 16, 2012 5:50 PM

Does Karthikeyan have sponsorship money behind him, anybody know? If he is looking for a boost he might try installing a turbocharger in that HRT. Probably the only possiblilty to get that thing off the bottom of the grid!

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