Indian GP catalyst for Karthikeyan
Narain Karthikeyan says that his performance in the Indian Grand Prix last season helped him regain his seat with HRT for the 2012 season.
Karthikeyan was replaced by Red Bull young driver Daniel Ricciardo ahead of the British Grand Prix last season, but returned to race alongside Ricciardo in India nine races later. Despite having been out of the car for so long Karthikeyan qualified within 0.022s of his team-mate and then beat him in the race, very nearly finishing ahead of Jerome d'Ambrosio's Virgin too.
After being confirmed alongside Pedro de la Rosa for this season, Karthikeyan said that his home performance had been key to his chances.
"It all really started after the Indian GP, where we had a good performance which led to the belief that I am still competitive to drive in Formula 1," Karthikeyan. "It is no secret how difficult it is to stay in F1 at this time, but I ensured that I was physically and mentally ready for any opportunity that arose. So I can't wait to get back in the car and return to action once again."
Karthikeyan also said that having the new car available at some point during the pre-season tests will allow him to help HRT progress this year.
"I am going to push as hard as possible, both inside and outside the cockpit and do whatever it takes to help the team progress in its rejuvenated form. Continuity is important in Formula 1 so I'm sure we'll hit the ground running this year starting with some actual pre-season testing unlike last season where I first drove the new car on the opening race weekend in Australia. So there is all the incentive for me to ensure that I carry the team forward by delivering results and ensuring that nothing is left on the table as far as performance is concerned."