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Narain happy to be on familiar track
June 30, 2005 17:52 IST
After collecting his first points from a highly controversial American Grand Prix, India's Formula One debutant Narain Karthikeyan is glad to return to familiar tracks as he prepares for the French Grand Prix at the Magny-Cours, France, on Sunday.
"Actually, I have plenty of reasons to be happy here in Magny-Cours. After going to a number of circuits that I didn't know, I am actually familiar with Magny-Cours and have some good memories of finishing on the podium in last year's Nissan World Series with Kovalainen and Monteiro on the other steps of the podium," Narain said.
The Indian rookie, who struggled with back to back failures after an impressive start, is confident of putting up a better show this weekend as the circuit suits his driving style.
"Magny-Cours is a fast and smooth circuit that places an emphasis upon a car's aerodynamics. The circuit suits my driving style. I always find a good balance and rhythm and enjoy driving here.
"Finding the limits of this technical, fast-corner circuit has not been too difficult for me in the past so I hope I won't have any problems driving an F1 car around here," he said.
Karthikeyan made history at the USA Grand Prix, finishing the 73-lap race in fourth place, the best ever classification for the Jordan Grand Prix driver in Formula I.
"The team has brought back some important points from the North American trip. The last time Jordan scored a similar number of points was with Giancarlo Fisichella's win in Brazil in 2003," Karthikeyan said.
"These points are really valuable for the team and will help us financially, which is very important for the future. I'm really proud to have contributed to this."
He was also happy with the performance of his new car -- the EJ15B -- but said the team will first use it probably at the German GP on July 24.
"It looks really nice and is very fast too. You can see the potential and we will use it most probably in Hockenheim. The early signs for the performance of the EJ15B are positive although we had a few problems with the oil system. The car is very narrow and compact at the back."
The team had a two-day preparation in Barcelona, where it tried out different set of tyres and also tested the new car.
"In preparation for the French and British Grands Prix, we had a two-day test at Barcelona on 23 and 24 June. The primary objective was to evaluate the new EJ15B spec package, which is a large-scale aerodynamic update," he said.
"This is a car that we will most probably be using after the British Grand Prix from now. We spent most of my first day at the test doing systems checks. We completed forty laps with the EJ15B on the second day, as well as a tyre test programme for Bridgestone to assist in the tyre selection for the two forthcoming Grand Prix races.
"Now the team will continue developing the car after the British Grand Prix to race it as soon as possible. It's a big step forward for the team that gives us better possibilities. I am looking forward to this race and I am ready for it. I am also looking forward to the rest of the season."
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