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‘I would like to stay with HRT’

Principal Correspondent
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GEARING UP:Narain Karthikeyan during a test drive of the MRF Formula 2000 car at Buddh International Circuit. —PHOTO: Sandeep Saxena
GEARING UP:Narain Karthikeyan during a test drive of the MRF Formula 2000 car at Buddh International Circuit. —PHOTO: Sandeep Saxena

: Hispania Racing driver Narain Karthikeyan is hopeful of returning a better finish in the Singapore Grand Prix on September 23.

Narain, who retired in back-to-back races before finishing 19th in the Italian Grand Prix 10 days ago, was eager to participate in the night race on the streets of Singapore. “The Asian races are lined up next. We are upgrading the aerodynamics of the car for the Singapore race. We are hoping that the car will be a little better. But how big the difference is will be known when we drive it,” said Narain while test driving the new MRF Formula 2000 car at the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) here on Monday.

Narain was satisfied with HRT’s progress this season. “From Australia, we have improved a lot. We have cut almost two seconds from last year. The team is making rapid strides.” The 35-year-old, presently the only F1 driver from the country, said he was unlucky to miss out on a few practice sessions. Narain, who had a best finish of 15th in Monaco last May, will also miss the first practice session in Singapore and replaced by young Chinese driver Ma Qing Hua alongside Pedro de la Rosa.

Narain, however, was interested in continuing with HRT next season. “I would like to stay with the team. It has made a lot of investments in the factory. Everything has come under one roof now and we have great facilities in Madrid. I also have a good rapport with the management.”

Talking about the MRF Formula 2000 car, Narain said the new car provides a good opportunity for young drivers at a “cheaper” rate. “It has taken the sport to a different league. It is better than the Formula Renault in Europe.”

“In the months of October, November and December — when it is too cold in Europe — it is a very good series to get some miles under your belt,” said Narain about the MRF Challenge 2012.

The first round of the series will be held as a support race for the Indian Grand Prix at BIC next month. The second round will be on December 1 and 2 and the final two rounds in Chennai from February 1-3 and 8-10.

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