Karthikeyan keeps chin up despite car problems

Melbourne: Narain Karthikeyan, India`s only F1 driver in 2012 season, put up a brave face despite enduring various car problems during the rain-affected Free Practice session for the Australian Grand Prix.

Both the practice sessions combined, Karthikeyan completed a total of 19 laps of the Albert Park Circuit for Hispania Racing, missing out on getting to time sheet in FP1.

"There was a fuel pressure issue in FP1, and a hydraulics issue in FP2 ? nothing major, as some niggles are expected on a brand-new car. These issues generally crop up and fixed in pre-season tests but since we are effectively testing on the race weekend, we have to deal with them now," Karthikeyan, who was 23rd out of 24th drivers, effectively last, since his team- mate Pedro de la Rosa did not set time in both the sessions.

Karthikeyan has been out of an F1 car for over four months since the Indian GP last year, barring a few kilometres of mileage done during a filming day in Barcelona last week.

He conceded that he would take some time to settle in but was positive for the season-opening race on Sunday.

"It is definitely going to be challenging, but I am optimistic since it is better to have these issues during Friday practice instead of race day. I`m not saying we`ve detected and fixed everything as something else may go awry but we have to understand it is an early stage for everyone.

"The team pulled an all-nighter to get the cars out on track today so we aren`t lacking in effort, we just need to be patient and ensure that we get the basics right and improve on from there. We knew what we were in for, so its chin up and looking ahead for tomorrow," he said.