Hispania’s Indian driver Narain Karthikeyan feels his team is heading in the right direction after the early disappointments in the Formula One (F1) season and said he is keen to better his record at this weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix.
Hispania had an aweful first two races as they were not fast enough to qualify for the Sunday’s race in Australia and Karthikeyan, along with partner Vitantonio Liuzzi, failed to finish the race in Malaysia. But the team managed to achieve its target in China as both drivers completed the race.
Hispania has made few aerodynamics upgrades on the car and Karthikeyan said those will be helpful on the challenging Istanbul Park circuit.
“Istanbul Park is a medium-to-high downforce track so, hopefully with the new aerodynamic upgrades on the car, we will be able to find a good balance on the car. The circuit has a great variation of corners and stringing together a perfect lap will be a real challenge. The stand out corner is obviously Turn Eight, which requires a great amount of precision from both car and driver in order to get it right,” said Karthikeyan.
The Coimbatore-based driver said their next target is to fare better than their closest competitors Virgin Racing.
“I hope to continue from where I left off in Shanghai by finishing the race, gathering valuable data and getting closer to optimising the potential of the F111 (Hispania’s new car), which I know has a lot more to give. So I am sure that with the upgrades due on the car, we will take another step forward towards challenging the teams who are just in front of us,” he said.
The Indian driver was part of the inaugural race here back in 2005, when he drove for Jordan in his maiden F1 season. The race turned turned out be a bitter experience as his car experienced two engine failures in the qualifying and he could only manage a 14th place in a race marred by reliability issues.
“I don’t have great memories of this circuit as my only previous visit in 2005 with Jordan GP was marred by mechanical problems but my memories of Turkey itself are great, the people are so nice and the food is fantastic,” said Karthikeyan.