|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Narain expects good race at Barcelona
May 05, 2005 16:00 IST
Upbeat about his team's progress for Sunday's race on a Barcelona track that he knows well, Narain Karthikeyan says he just cannot wait to get on to the starting grid for the Spanish Grand Prix.
"I am quite happy with the progress the team has been making and cannot wait to drive at the Circuit de Catalunya," said the Jordan driver, after arriving in Barcelona on Wednesday.
The 28-year-old said he has "excellent memories here from racing in the Formula Nissan World Series like standing on the second step of the podium in front of the crowd".
"Let's hope that my good results at the Barcelona track will bring me luck this weekend," Karthikeyan said.
"Barcelona will be the first track I race on this season that I know well."
Karthikeyan said he is working hard with the Jordan team and the "results were excellent" when he attended the two-day test on April 27-28, held just over the road from their factory at Silverstone. The high point was his fastest lap of 1 minute and 22.75 seconds.
"The days at Silverstone were very constructive for the team. The weather was wet at the start of the test, and it was reflected in our times. When the weather improved we managed to do many laps, testing different tyres and a new gearbox.
"Overall I'm expecting a reasonable run and race finish in Spain. This doesn't necessarily mean that it's going to be easy for us considering that the track was a mix of high and low-speed corners on the abrasive and bumpy surface."
Karthikeyan also did not rule out the possibility of weather playing truant which could pose a challenge for the drivers.
"Even though I know the track well, you can always be caught out by the strong wind and the sand that can make the track slippery."
Karthikeyan said, after testing at Silverstone, Jordan had introduced some mechanical and aerodynamical developments to help them get closer to the pace.
"Jordan Grand Prix has tested here during the winter and has already been able to gather some helpful and valuable data. But the track is still a challenge for drivers.
"Overall, Barcelona is a track where traction and aerodynamics play an important role because of the long corners," he said.
"We have introduced a few small aerodynamic and mechanical developments after Silverstone testing and some of the results of the team's work in our newly acquired wind tunnel facilities.
"Hopefully, this will help us get closer to the pace. Most of the other teams know exactly how to set up their cars for this circuit but I'm sure it will be an interesting and challenging weekend," Karthikeyan said.
Recalling his last race at Imola, Karthikeyan said his priority was to finish the race and was happy to do that.
"Looking closer and analysing the results with the team, my fastest lap was quicker than that managed by Mark Webber (BMW Williams) or David Coulthard (Red Bull Racing). I was even within a few thousandths of a second of Jarno Trulli (Toyota)," he said.
Formula One: The Complete Coverage