Narain Karthikeyan has been given permission to race in the Korean Grand Prix by stewards after the Indian driver had a brake issue during the first part of qualifying which prevented him from setting a lap time.
The stewards have allowed him to race because of the lap times he had posted in the three free practice sessions which were, at most times, faster than team-mate Pedro de la Rosa.
The 35-year-old's right front brake split in half and he spun off into the run off area at turn three, causing yellow flags for a brief period at the start of the session. Although he avoided contact with the barriers, was unable to continue in the session.
"We were in quite a good position after the third free practice session as I'd adapted very well to the circuit and the car was performing great," he said.
"But once again, I was unlucky this season and we had a mechanical issue on the first lap of qualifying. Now we must analyse the problem to fix it and avoid it from springing up again. Tomorrow we will try and recover these positive vibes."
Although his team-mate finished twenty-third and somewhat slower than Marussia's Timo Glock, de la Rosa was happy with the job he had done, but team principal Luis Perez-Sala was disappointed with the gap to the other new Formula 1 teams and also voiced his disappointment on Karthikeyan's issue.
"Today wasn't one of our best days," he said. "In the morning's practice session we witnessed an improvement in the performance of the cars and the drivers finished with better sensations than yesterday.
“But in qualifying, things didn't go so well. Narain, on his first lap, suffered a broken brake disc and was unable to go out. Luckily both him and the car are well and now were investigating why this happened.
“Pedro completed a good lap but our rivals were much better. Tomorrow will be a long race and the tyres and pitstops will play a key role so we will try to do the best job possible to make the most of an opportunity that may arise.”
by Cameron Paterson