The Indian, who has experienced six retirements (including four in the last six races) this season, needs a bit of luck to finish the Formula One Indian Grand Prix with his head held hig

On his home soil over the weekend, Narain Karthikeyan wants his HRT car to be a little more reliable. The Indian, who has experienced six retirements (including four in the last six races) this season, needs a bit of luck to finish the Formula One Indian Grand Prix with his head held high.

Narain, who had finished 17th after starting at the 24th slot at the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) in the inaugural year, was optimistic about his performance in front of the home fans for the second time. “I am the only Indian driver in the race and it is an honour. I am very happy,” Narain told The Hindu on Tuesday.

In the Korean GP last week, Narain had a brake disc problem in the first lap of the qualifying round. He was allowed to take part in the race and managed to claim the 20th spot.

The 35-year-old, whose best result this year had been a 15th place in Monaco in May last, was hopeful that the adjustments to the rear wings of the car for the Indian GP would benefit him. “I have been facing some reliability issues. The aim is to last for the race... I want to have a reliable race over the weekend.”

Strong performance

With four races left, Narain, currently at the 24th position (a rung above his teammate Pedro de la Rosa) in the overall drivers’ standings, said his team could give a strong performance and compete with other lowly teams such as Marussia and Caterham.

Narain, who drove the MRF Formula 2000 car on the BIC track a month ago, said the circuit had improved a lot and would provide a nice experience to the drivers. “In the last one year they have done a good job. The dust problem was there last year. But now it is nice and clean.”

The drivers would find some minor changes to the track, but Narain said these were not going to affect the performance in any way. “Turn six has been modified. They have extended the kerb. Besides, astro-turf has been put in some areas. This has been done to prevent dust from coming on to the track. The layout has not changed. It is quite flowing and fantastic to drive.”

Narain said it was not surprising that the Indian GP was yet to match the interest it had generated in its opening year. “Last year, there was a craze among the fans. Normally it happens that the interest goes down a little bit in the following year. In third and fourth years, it will pick up again,” said Narain.

More In: Motorsport | Sport