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Rain hampers Karthikeyan's practice
Agnes Carlier | October 07, 2005 17:00 IST
The weather gods granted Narain Karthikeyan his wishes, as it poured heavily at the Suzuka circuit. But soon it turned out to be more than what the Indian had asked for, on the first day of free practice at the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka, Japan.
An excessively wet track combined with minor work needed on the car meant that Karthikeyan lost out valuable lap time, denting an otherwise satisfying day at office for the Jordan driver.
"I had a first good session this morning but then in the afternoon I lost of bit of time as we wanted to change some parts of the car and also because the rain started," said the 28-year old Indian.
"It is a pity the track got wet as I could not try a new set of tyres, contrary to my teammates.
"I really like the circuit at Suzuka; it is one of my favourites in the calendar, so, hopefully, I will be able to do well here," said the 'Fastest Indian on Wheels'.
Karthikeyan completed 13 laps in the morning but could do only seven in the afternoon on the first day of practice for the penultimate round of the Formula One World championship.
He and teammate Tiago Monteiro were joined by Japanese driver Sakon Yamamoto, and the trio spent the day working on their car set-up and evaluating the different types of Bridgestone tyres available.
Yamamoto was impressive, considering the fact that it was only the second time he was driving a Formula One car. He was quick in both dry and wet conditions.
The local lad was 20th fastest with a best timing of 1m:36.295 seconds while Kathikeyan was 22nd (1m:37.154s) and Monteiro 24th (1m:38.250s).
Karthikeyan said the events of the day did not bother him and all that mattered was who was quick on race day.
"I refreshed my memory on all the details of the Japanese track in the morning," Karthikeyan said.
"This afternoon my dream came true and rain started at mid-session. But I had a problem with the front dampers.
"By the time the team fixed the problem, the track was really too wet to go out with normal tyres.
"It was not worth getting out with the new tyres under these wet conditions.
"In a way it is a shame because we had a good technical solution and I would have been fast like our third driver (Yamamoto).
"It is all a question of timing and being fast at the right time. But I cheer for more rain tomorrow anyway!"
Meanwhile, McLaren's grip on the constructor's title seemed to slacken after Kimi Raikkonen was forced to change his engine.
Raikkonen will lose 10 places from his qualifying position of the race order on Sunday.
The driver's championship has already been settled after Renault's Fernando Alonso of Spain became the youngest ever world champion with a third place finish at Brazil two weeks ago.
Formula One: The Complete Coverage