Narain Karthikeyan has said it was his fault he crashed out of the Singapore Grand Prix, after he made an error and strayed onto the dirty line.
Karthikeyan had been encouraged on Saturday after out-qualifying his team-mate, Pedro de la Rosa for the second race in succession. But his race ended in disappointment when he lost control of his HRT at Turn 18 on lap 30 and went into the barriers, an incident that result in the first of the races two safety car deployments.
“It wasn't my best race,” Karthikeyan reflected. “From the beginning we had problems with heating and we lost a lot of time on straights, but we were managing it well until I went on the dirty part of the track and the car didn't turn which resulted in me going into the wall. It's further proof that there's no room for error at street circuits.
“But I'll keep my good qualifying session with me as that fills me with confidence ahead of the next Grand Prix. It was a shame not to finish it off with a good result in the race.”
de la Rosa meanwhile was 15th at one stage in the sister car, but was unable to hold on after suffering with a lot of tyre degradation on the last few laps. He eventually finished in 17th.
“I'm satisfied with today's race,” added the Spaniard. “The safety cars helped me out, but I must admit that the race dragged on a bit for me, and the last five laps never seemed to end because I had no tyres left and I started to lose ground on [Timo] Glock and [Charles] Pic and [Kamui] Kobayashi, [Heikki] Kovalainen and [Nico] Hulkenberg, who were flying and who passed me like nothing.
“Physically it was a tough race but I finished quite well. We did everything we could with what we had and I think that we managed the situations well. For us it wasn't easy at all to finish the race and that is a victory in itself. Now it's time for Suzuka, a circuit I love, which I know very well and where I hope to give everything once again.”
“It was a tough race because we were on the limit and we had to control the temperature of the brakes and engine from the start,” summarised HRT team principal, Luis Perez-Sala. “The drivers did a good job.
“It's a shame that Narain crashed and had to retire. Pedro fought for 15th until the end but the high degradation of the tyres relegated him to 17th. However it was exciting to be right in the thick of things and we're very happy about that.
“Now we go to Japan where we won't suffer as much with the temperatures and we will have a better look at where we are to continue with our job and continue on this path.”