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Home > Sports > Formula One > Reuters > Report

Karthikeyan fined after quick getaway

March 04, 2005 13:43 IST

After waiting years to get a start in Formula One, it was no surprise that India's rookie driver Narain Karthikeyan was in a hurry to get on the track for practice at the Australian Grand Prix on Friday.

When the lights signalled the start of the first session for the new season, Karthikeyan roared out of the pit lane in his gleaming yellow Jordan and set off around the twisting Albert Park circuit for the ride of a lifetime.

The only problem for the 28-year-old from Madras was that his hasty exit was a little too quick for the officials. He was clocked leaving the pit lane at 86.2 km/h -- exceeding the allowable speed limit of 80 km/h.

He was found guilty of speeding and race stewards fined him $6,750.

"I was pushing very hard," Karthikeyan said. "Now I just need to calm down a bit because I was under pressure to perform."

Karthikeyan managed just six laps in the first 60-minute session when an oil leak forced him back to the team garage.

The problem was fixed and he completed another 29 laps in the second session, setting the 19th fastest time overall.

"After resolving Narain's oil leak, everything went smoothly," Jordan sporting director Trevor Carlin said.

"We are very happy with the progress he's making."

Karthikeyan is poised to become the first Indian to start in a Formula One Grand Prix after a long and sometimes difficult road to the top.

He has spent most of the past eight years in British Formula Three and the Nissan World Series after two failed attempts to break into the big league.

He tested with Jaguar and Jordan in 2001 but did not make the grade and came close in 2003, when he was offered a drive by Minardi but was unable to generate the money needed by the cash-strapped team to secure his place.

Karthikeyan's big break came last year when his sponsors, India's second-largest conglomerate, the Tata Group, and state-run refiner Bharat Petroleum Corp, agreed to back him.

He signed a deal with Jordan then underwent extensive testing in Europe to get the super licence he needed to compete in Formula One.

© Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.
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Number of User Comments: 3

Sub: Three cheers to Karthikeyan

Its a matter of pride to all INDIANS that Karthikeyan has stepped into the exciting but costly arena of F1 racing. This is surely going ...

Posted by Alokmay Behera

Sub: mistake

Dear sir Narain Karthikeyan is Actually from Coimbatore and he is not from chennai.This is for your information.

Posted by Sathish

Sub: mistake

respected sir, i would like to bring under your attention that narain is not from chennai(madras) but from coimbatore.also he is 29 years old.please avoid ...

Posted by nivethithaa



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