Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Narain Karthikeyan Vs Daniel Ricciardo

HRT dropped a bomb before Silverstone by announcing that it has replaced Narain Karthikeyan with Red Bull protege Daniel Ricciardo.

It was understood that though Narain Karthikeyan didn't have any problems in terms of his sponsorship payments, Red Bull team wanted to test Daniel Ricciardo in an F1 car before making their decision for the Torro Rosso team driver lineup for next year. For a financially struggling team like HRT it was good news and they immediately proceeded to drop Narain Karthikeyan.

Interestingly, Narain Karthikeyan had mentioned during the beginning of the year that his contract with HRT was to drive for all the races. However, there was no comments from Narain Karthikeyan.

In the Silverstone race, Daniel Ricciardo was about half a second slower than Vintanio Liuzzi, who drives the other HRT car. It was immediately hailed by people as a great job by Daniel Ricciardo. It was also said that since Daniel Ricciardo could qualify within the 107% rule, he was doing a great job. It would be pertinent to note that except for the season opening race in Australia where the HRT team was still trying to build their car part by part and failed to qualify within the 107% rule, they haven't faced any such problem in other races. So this gives an idea that the backers of Daniel Ricciardo are trying their best to find out any and every  fact, however trifle it might be, to pronounce the greatness of Daniel Ricciardo.

In the Nurburgring race, Narain Karthikeyan was allowed to drive the FP1 (First Practice ) in place of Vintanio Liuzzi. It was a pretty interesting event as now Narain Karthikeyan and Daniel Ricciardo were pitted face to face to show who is the fastest. And the result silenced the backers of Daniel Ricciardo.

Narain came in at 20th place clocking a time of 1m 38.504 seconds.
Daniel Ricciardo at 22nd place clocking a time of 1 m 39.279 seconds

So Daniel Ricciardo, who is supposed to be a fast driver and a very great potential, clocked in a time which was 0.775 seconds slower than Narain, whom he replaced.

And to make matters worse, Daniel Ricciardo drove two laps more than Narain (24 laps vs 22laps) and was still a lot slower than Narain.

Infact, the driver comments after the practice throws a lot of light on the aims and goals of a driver.

Daniel Ricciardo is quoted as "I had an easy start to get used to the car. We worked on the balance of the car and the tyres. A good first session to start my second ever F1 race weekend." 

So Daniel Ricciardo was pretty happy being 0.775 seconds slower than Narain Karthikeyan. Perhaps he understands his level and potential much better than his backers. 

Infact, Narain had driven like a man possessed. He not only thrashed Daniel Ricciardo, but also was faster than the two Marussia Virgin Racing cars as well as the Lotus driven by Karun Chandhok.

Narain still appears to have that burning desire to succeed provided he gets a good chance. We will know that later.

Infact, this is what Formula 1 is all about!

The necessary precondition to be in F1 is not just about being fast as a driver. F1 is all about politics. It is much different from Sports where each man is for himself and runs, swims or jumps as hard as possible. In F1 the machinery counts a lot and the benchmark is your team mate.

More about Formula 1 and Politics in a later article.

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