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Gearbox problems hampered Narain

July 03, 2005 21:21 IST

India's Narain Karthikeyan withstood gearbox problems to put up a strong race at the French Grand Prix in Magny Cours on Sunday.

Narain had a superb start but after three laps experienced mechanical issues which prevented him pushing his car to a faster pace and ultimately finished 15th last at the Magny Cours circuit.

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Tiego Monteiro of Portugal, Narain's teammate, came 13th after passing the Indian early in the race to give another clean performance for Jordan.

Championship leader Fernando Alonso of Spain won the race by miles for his fifth win of the season and pushed his tally to 69 points.

Finn Kimi Raikkonen in McLaren came second and was 24 points behind Alonso in the championship standings.

Ferrari's Michael Schumacher came third.

Both the Jordan drivers were on a three-stop strategy, which were all superbly executed.

"I had a great start and was running in front of Christian Klien but then on lap 3, I had a gearbox selection problem," 28-year old Narain said after the race.

"I did not have the third and the fifth gear, so it meant that I had to shift from the second gear directly to the fourth and here, there are a lot of corners in third and fifth. Therefore that problem cost me a lot of time.

"It is a shame, as I was quick all weekend. I am really disappointed and unlucky, but now I will focus on the British Grand Prix next weekend."

The British GP will be at Jordan's backyard, the Silverstone circuit, on July 10.

Monteiro said, "it was a good race for me. I had a good pace, did not encounter any problem and was able to push hard. I was also satisfied with the balance of my car.

"I think there is less and less gap with he people in front of us, which is a good sign, but we must keep on improving the car.

"I had another finish today, which is good for my record. I had a lot of problems during the weekend, but the car was perfect again for the race.

"The reliability was great and I would like to thank everyone for that."


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