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Narain raring to go at Monaco

May 17, 2005 18:45 IST

Satisfied with his performance in the F1 circuit so far, rookie Indian driver Narain Karthikeyan is determined to prove his mettle on the "challenging" track during the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday.

"I'm happy with my performance so far this season having shown the potential of the car. Monaco is a race where I really show what I'm made of," Karthikeyan, who arrived in Monaco on Tuesday to prepare for his sixth race of the season, said.

"I can't wait to race in Monaco," said an excited Karthikeyan about the most glamorous race of the Formula One Championship.

The Jordan Grand Prix driver said it could be physically challenging for newcomers but he is confident of coping with it.

"I like racing on street circuits and have experience of these unique tracks from earlier in my career, such as at Macao or the Korean F3 Grand Prix.

"Monaco is a real challenge for a driver who has never raced on that street circuit. A driver dashing uphill and downhill through a town at 300kmh on such a short track is a really breathtaking idea," he said.

"I expect it to be a really physical challenge, as we'll have to negotiate over one thousand corners in around 90 minutes on Sunday afternoon. It's also a real challenge for the gearbox, which will change gear, more than 2000 times during the race," Karthikeyan said.

"It will be very tough for the car, the tyres and the brakes," the 28-year-old said.

While Karthikeyan has raced on some street circuits before, he has never been at the wheel of a car as powerful as his Jordan Grand Prix EJ15 in that unique situation.

The strategy, however, would be the same – precise driving with no room for errors. The slightest mistake could end a driver's afternoon in a collision with Monaco's unforgiving barriers.

"As overtaking is virtually impossible at Monaco, strategy will be vital," Karthikeyan said.

Meanwhile, the schedule of the Monaco Grand Prix is slightly different than other F1 Grands Prix.

The first day of racing will be on Thursday with Friday being an off day for drivers and teams and then the weekend format is the usual Saturday qualifying 1 and Sunday qualifying II followed by the race.

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