Narain Karthikeyan believes Team India could finally have solved its persistent qualifying problems, after registering the outfit's best-ever grid slot in Zhuhai.

The nation has struggled in qualifying so far during the 2007/08 A1GP campaign, hindering its race-day performances when Karthikeyan's pace has frequently been up with the front-runners. Having managed to nail third spot on the grid for the longer feature race in China, though, and ninth for the sprint, the former Formula 1 star is hopeful the squad has at last succeeded in turning a corner.

"We got a little bit more out of the car in qualifying today,' the 30-year-old acknowledged afterwards. "We got to know [it] better, and this showed in our best-ever qualifying position. We had a good lap although the brakes are still a little nervous. We qualified in the top ten for the sprint race too - the engineer took a good call on the mechanical set-up and we made good time by the next session.

"It's very motivating for A1 Team India, especially after the off-season test at Silverstone when we were really quick, but when it came to the races we were slow in qualifying.

"Our race pace is really good, though, and we've always been quick in all the races. We are heading in the right direction and have to keep up the performance. This is the fourth meeting of the season, and I hope from here on our qualifying will be stronger.

"We've found something this week, and tomorrow anything can happen. We are looking good and obviously we are going for a podium finish."

"It was a great qualifying session," agreed an equally enthusiastic Team India CEO Andy Sehgal, "and it is all coming together now for the team. We need to maintain the same for tomorrow's race."

 

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