Saturday, March 17, 2012

Disappointment for India's Only F1 driver

The season opener in Melbourne came as a big disappointment for India's only F1 driver Narain Karthikeyan, as the two HRT cars came last and beyond the minimum 107% time of 1.32.214 seconds. Both the HRT cars were over one second slower than the minimum 107% of the fastest time required to qualify. So like last year, this year too both the HRT cars won't be able to participate.

One had hoped that this year the HRT team would do better. However, despite the ownership changing hands, the team is struggling for fiances. A majority of the previous team members have left. So no wonder the team is really struggling to even build the car.

Narain Karthikeyan's car was ready for a day after the barcelona testing. So the HRT team missed the entire pre season testing. They got about 10 laps for a filming day which had severe restrictions of using demo tyres and slow speeds.

The HRT team struggled to put together Pedro de La Roa's car for the mandatory inspection before the First Practice. Unfortunately, Narain only got 3 laps in the First Practice on friday and his engine blew out.

In the qualifying they could get only 6 laps. No idea why the team only ran for 6 laps. Given this performance, it would be virtually impossible for the team to even qualify for the race in Malaysia.

I think it is time before Ratan Tata steps in and buys this HRT team so that the much needed finances can be brought in and the entire team is revamped. If not Tata Motors, Ratan Tata can put in his personal stake. This would be a way for Indian companies to get into F1 and really evolving in terms of competitiveness and getting the global coverage.

I was surprised that Pedro de La Rosa was faster than Narain. In an untested car, this would not be of much significance. However, Narain had matched the pace of Daniel Ricciardo and was also faster than him. So I am surprised that this time Pedro was faster than Narain. I am sure, with the passage of time, HRT will get more funds, more mileage and Narain will shine.

The Qualifying times in Melbourne GP:
Times
01. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m24.922
02. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m25.074 + 0.152
03. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m25.302 + 0.380
04. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m25.336 + 0.414
05. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m25.651 + 0.729
06. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m25.668 + 0.746
07. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m25.686 + 0.764
08. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m25.908 + 0.986
09. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m26.451 + 1.529
10. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari No time
11. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m26.429 + 0.960
12. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m26.494 + 1.025
13. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m26.590 + 1.121
14. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1m26.663 + 1.194
15. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m27.086 + 1.617
16. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m27.497 + 2.028
17. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari No time
18. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m27.758 + 1.576
19. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m28.679 + 2.497
20. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1m29.018 + 2.836
21. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1m30.923 + 4.741
22. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m31.670 + 5.488
23. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1m33.495 + 7.313
24. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m33.643 + 7.461 

1 comment:

DeepaK KarthiK (420*) said...

Glad to see an Indian name there..
whatever the rankings may be.
proud of him :)