Following a couple of disappointing meetings that did little to build upon India's first-ever A1 Grand Prix points, Narain Karthikeyan is well placed to push the team further up the standings after securing fifth on the grid for the tenth round at Shanghai, China.

Easily the team's best starting position yet in 40 races, Karthikeyan had promised to challenge for a spot in the top five following a strong performance in practice that saw him fourth quickest in all three sessions.

Even so, he had to work hard for the position after struggling in the first two sectors to even reach the top ten. Nonetheless, with two laps remaining to count towards his final aggregate time, Karthikeyan was able to produce his best efforts when it mattered to claim a spot on the third row.

"I'm pleased, it's the best ever qualifying result for India, but we still need to get the best out of the tyres and the car during qualifying. I think we have a much better race car than qualifying car."

Making the most of having experience of the Shanghai circuit after driving there for Jordan F1 in 2005, Karthikeyan was pleased to have hit back after struggling at the start of his qualifying sessions

"I messed up the first qualifying lap by getting the middle sector wrong, I was carrying too much speed and the car just didn't want to work. After that I adjusted my driving style, and went into the corners a bit slower, and the lap times picked up.

"It feels like you're actually going much slower, but it's faster on the clock, and that's the way you have to drive the A1GP car. I think we have a good car here, we need to be consistent and look after the tyres, especially in the Feature race."

 

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