|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Karthikeyan was remarkable in his debut season: Jordan
October 27, 2005 19:43 IST
Setting to rest speculation over rookie driver Narain Karthikeyan's performance, Jordan on Thursday said the Indian driver's debut in Formula One had been "remarkable" and the team had managed to emerge as one of the most reliable ones in the championships.
"Jordan Grand Prix finished as one of the most reliable teams of the championship with 84 per cent of race finishes and 97 per cent mechanical reliability," the team said in a statement while reviewing its past season where it finished ninth in the constructors' championship.
The past season also holds emotional significance for the Silverstone-based team as it is all set to acquire a new identity in 2006 following the acquisition by Alex Schnaider, chairman of the Midland Group.
"We knew this was going to be a difficult season as we took over a team in financial disarray and had very little time to prepare for the first race in Australia," Schnaider said.
"Despite these obstacles, we met our objectives of learning and improving as much as possible. The team showed tremendous dedication at each race and did a great job with the resources that were available," he said.
Karthikeyan, who had a roller-coaster ride, said his rookie season had been a great learning experience.
"2005 has been a challenging first season in Formula One for me but I have learnt a lot. Most of the tracks were unfamiliar to me, so I had to spend a considerable amount of time learning the layout and getting used to the car's handling," he said.
"I have great memories of my first race qualifying in Australia, where I was 12th. I particularly enjoyed driving there, as there is a large Indian community in Melbourne and it was an amazing feeling to see all the Indian flags around the circuit," Karthikeyan recalled.
"Imola was also a great race for me as I was battling with David Coulthard and was setting some good lap times. Then there was Indy. We had an opportunity to score points and I am delighted I was able to get some world championship points; being the first Indian driver ever to do so.
"I really enjoyed Spa as well, as the conditions were tricky and I was running the EJ-15B for the first time in a race. Unfortunately, my choice to go on slick tyres was a bit too early. Qualifying 11th in Japan, the best qualifying place for Jordan Grand Prix this season, was great too.
"The bad times were obviously the five races I did not finish. I made a few mistakes like at Monaco, Canada and China, but I was also a bit unlucky, having experienced technical problems in Bahrain and at Silverstone, which unfortunately happens. Now let's see what the future brings."
Formula One: The Complete Coverage