Saturday, October 29, 2011

Inspired Performance by Narain Karthikeyan in Indian Grand Prix

The Formula One Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida witnessed history being created when Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok participated in the First Practice. Narain is driving for HRT team in this Grand Prix and Karun Chandhok who is a test driver with Team Lotus was given the chance to drive in the First Practice of the Indian Grand Prix.

As Narain has been saying for a long time, it was an emotional moment for him to drive infront of the home audience. Though Narain hasn't driven a race since July when he was replaced by the Red Bull funded Daniel Ricciardo, Narain has shown his pace. At the end of First Practice, as per the Official  news Daniel Ricciardo was 1 m 33.928 seconds and "Karthikeyan was respectably close at 1m 34.113s". It would be pertinent to mention that having track time is very important. One can't just jump into a formula 1 car and be fast. You need lot of time in the car. This fact is reiterated by many Formula 1 drivers like Johnny Herbert ( check for his quote here ) and three time Formula 1 champion Nikki Lauda

In the Second Practice, Narain was even closer to Daniel Ricciardo. Ricciardo was 1m 32.768s with Narain only 0.056 seconds slower. It was an impressive showing considering Narain has been so long out in the wilds.

In the Third Practice on saturday morning, Narain Karthikeyan was 22nd fastest with a time of 1m 39.900 seconds, Jerome Ambrosio of Virgin at 1m 32.851s ad Daniel Ricciardo of HRT at 1m 32.246s. This has been a very impressive weekend for Narain. If Narain continues with such impressive showing in the Qualifying later today and in the Race tomorrow, then we can safely predict that many more corporates and people will get excited and will start following Formula 1. When a large economy like India starts putting its weight behind Formula 1, it will change Formula 1 for the better.

EDIT: Narain Karthikeyan finished 22nd in the Qualifying however he could not have the satisfaction of beating his teammate Dainel Ricciardo as he was just 0.022 seconds ie. just 22nd thousandth of a second slower than Ricciardo. Narain clocked a time of 1m 30.238seconds  vs 1m 30.216 seconds of Ricciardo.
Jerome D' Ambrosio and Timo Glock of  Virgin racing finished 23rd and 24th.

EDIT 2: Race Result
Narain Karthikeyan had an excellent race. He had a good start and despite a contact with Jarno Truli in the opening lap, he was running as high as 15th in the early stages of the race. Narain Karthikeyan finished at 17th in the race ahead of his highly rated teammate and RED bull protegee Daniel Ricciardo. Jarno Truli of Team Lotus finished 19th. If he would not have had the penalty slapped on him for blocking Michael Schumacher during qualifying, then definitely he would have had a better race. He said "It is an awesome feeling to have completed the first ever Indian Grand Prix and to have bveen competitive with our main rivals which proved a lot of points".

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