Karthikeyan set his sight on Turkish Grand Prix

Last Updated: May 04, 2011, 18:13 PM IST

Istanbul: After successfully completing the race at the Chinese Grand Prix, Hipania`s Indian driver Narain Karthikeyan has now set his sight on the upcoming Turkish Grand Prix and said the Spanish team will look to better its record at the Istanbul Park circuit this weekend.

Hispania cars, which missed all the pre-season tests and failed to qualify for the season opening Australian GP, completed the 56-lap race at the Shanghai circuit last month without any technical issues with Karthikeyan finishing 23rd while his Italian teammate Vitantonio Liuzzi crossing the chequered flag a spot ahead of the Indian.

The Hispania team had earlier failed to finish the race in Malaysia due to reliability issues and India`s only F1 driver said the team is heading in the right direction after
experiencing disappointments in the season`s first few races.

"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.”

"We are moving in a good direction ever since our first race in Malaysia, so I am sure that with the upgrades due on the car for Turkey, we will take another step forward towards challenging the teams who are just in front of us," said Karthikeyan ahead of the race.

The Coimbatore-based driver said with new aerodynamic upgrades in the offing, they hope to find a good balance on the challenging medium-to-high-downforce Istanbul track.

"We hope 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," Karthikeyan said.

"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," he added.

Karthikeyan had served as the test driver for Williams F1 team in the 2006-07 season after making his debut with Jordan in 2005.

Last year, he signed up with the Hispania Racing Team to be its official race driver for this Formula One season. Karthikeyan, who is looking to score a point or two in the F1 season this year, does not have good memories of the circuit.

He was part of the inaugural race here back in 2005, when he drove for Jordan in his maiden F1 season but his car experienced two engine failures in the qualifying race, resulting in a disappointing 14th place finish.

"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," Karthikeyan said.

PTI