Narain Karthikeyan can't wait to get out on track in India this coming week and he is determined to do his very best to give his compatriots something to cheer about.
Karthikeyan went pretty well at the Buddh International Circuit twelve months ago, qualifying only fractionally slower than his then team-mate, Daniel Ricciardo, and then in the race he actually finished one place ahead in 17th, a result he said at the time was the 'best I could have wished for with the car we have'. Now he is keen to try and do even better.
“Obviously this is the most anticipated race on the calendar for me and there is already a great buzz around the event,” Karthikeyan stated ahead of the 17th round in the 2012 F1 World Championship. “The layout of the Buddh International Circuit is a great mix which makes it challenging for the tyres as there are very few conventional straight-forward corners but since the surface isn't abrasive at all, wear shouldn't be an issue.
“I've got great memories from last year's Grand Prix as I had a great weekend; the car was good and we were quick. I hope this year things go even better and I can dedicate it to the fans who are showing me so much support. I can't wait to get out on track!”
Team-mate Pedro de la Rosa meanwhile will get his first taste of the circuit this Friday and after a throttle pedal problem sidelined him in Korea, he just wants to get to the finish.
“Just like Korea this will be a new circuit for me and all I know of it is from the work I did on the simulator last year,” stated the Spaniard. “From what I know it's an interesting circuit with a lot of medium and fast corners where we will have two DRS zones. It will be interesting to see how the asphalt has evolved from one year to another because last year it was brand new and quite dirty. I must admit that, overall, it's a circuit that I like the look of.
“We hope to have solved the reliability issues which we suffered in Korea and complete another good race here.”
HRT team principal Luis Perez-Sala added: "Personally I've never been to the Buddh International Circuit but I'm eager to see it because I've heard great things about it, being a very complete track. We're looking forward to it because of Narain, who will have all the fans backing him throughout the weekend. It's a very special Grand Prix for him and we hope to put in a good performance and for him to complete a good race like last year.
“Pedro has never driven there and will have to adapt first but he'll definitely lean on Narain's experience from last year.
"Our target is to have good reliability and finish the race with both cars and improve the performance from Korea to reach the level we were at in Japan,” he concluded.