Valencia: Back behind the wheel of a Formula One car after a hiatus of four years, Narain Karthikeyan impressed at 2011`s opening pre-season test and the ace Indian driver said he was "extremely satisfied" with his three-day outing at the Circuito Ricardo Tormo.
Karthikeyan, who was signed by Spanish outfit Hispania Racing Team (HRT) for the 2011 season, completed 63 laps and finished 11th fastest on the final day of the testing with a timing of 1:16.535.
The Indian set the sixth fastest time on the second day with a timing of 1:14.472 while he was the 12th fastest on the first day of the test programme.
"It`s an awesome feeling to be back in Formula 1 car again, pushing it to its limits. All of the team members at HRT and I have been working very hard over the past few days. Fortunately, the weather has been very good, and I was able to do quite a lot of laps on each of the three days of the test session," Karthikeyan said after the conclusion of the testing session.
"This test has not been about getting lap-times. It was more important for me to learn about the team, the car, and getting used to the specific demands of Formula 1 again. I also focused on learning about the new specification tyres, and have tried out several different compounds.”
"I was expecting it to be much harder to adapt to the modern generation F1 car, but I found the transition to be much more seamless than I had anticipated. It has been an extremely satisfying test, and I`m eagerly looking forward to the next test," he said.
Hispania team principal Colin Kolles was also impressed with Karthikeyan`s progress during the testing programme.
"Narain (Karthikeyan) has done a very good job in this test session. The lap-times are not so important. We are paying more attention to the data we are collecting. He has completed almost 200 laps over the course of the three days," he said.
"I am very happy with his progress, determination and speed. I am sure he will continue to improve each and every time he drives the car," Kolles added.