Tag Archives: Narain Karthikeyan

ROC

Race Of Champions Indian winners

TEAM INDIA TRIUMPH IN ROC ASIA

  • Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok took Team India to glory in the first ever ROC Asia competition in Bangkok tonight
  • The Indian driver pairing defeated Toyota Team Gazoo Japan’s Kazuya Ohshima and Takuto Iguchi in the final
  • Nattavude Charoensukawattana earlier defeated Tin Sritrai in the final of ROC Thailand, a four-way shootout to find the host nation’s fastest driver

Team India’s Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok are celebrating tonight after they took glory in the inaugural ROC Asia competition, the first night of action of the 2012 Race Of Champions weekend.

On a hot evening at Bangkok’s Rajamangala Stadium, Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok joined forces for Team India as both made their ROC debuts. The Indian duo topped the group stage with four wins out of six to go into the final as favourites.

There they faced Toyota Team Gazoo Japan, who were represented by Kazuya Ohshima and Takuto Iguchi, who were both class winners in this year’s Nürburgring 24-Hour race. In the end the Indian duo prevailed, both winning their heats to take the title.

Chandhok said: “That was a really good night and it was obviously very nice to end up on top. It wasn’t as straightforward as we would have hoped as we both had our favourite cars and we ended up driving the opposite ones to what we wanted. But it worked out well in the end. It was a lot of fun and we really enjoyed our first experience of competing here. In the end I think we beat everyone fair and square. That’s what the Race Of Champions all about – same cars, same track, same conditions. It’s a bit of history for Team India to win the first ROC Asia. That’s obviously very special. Now we start from scratch again tomorrow.”

Karthikeyan added: “This is the first time at the Race Of Champions for both myself and Karun and I’ve really enjoyed this event so far. It’s a unique format and it’s pretty tight and narrow out there. So it was a challenge to put a precise lap together in any of the cars. But it’s just about getting the best out of each car. You need to adapt very quickly without any mistakes as you need a clean lap. We’re happy to come out on top, now we can look forward to the rest of the event. We’re up for the challenge and we’ll take on the world tomorrow!”

The performance earns Team India a place in tomorrow’s ROC Nations Cup along with Team Thailand, who qualify as host nation. The home team were unlucky not to make it through to the final after they took three wins in the group stage, the same as finalists Toyota Team Gazoo Japan. 2010 Supercar Thailand Champ Nattavude Charoensukawattana and touring car ace Tin Sritrai both thrilled their home crowd with victories but they missed out on the countback of the fastest times.

Team China paired F1 test driver Ho-Pin Tung with rally ace Han Han, better known as the world’s most widely-read blogger. The Chinese pair already had Race Of Champions experience as they competed in the 2009 event at Beijing’s ‘Bird’s Nest’ Olympic Stadium, getting as far as the semi-finals of the ROC Nations Cup. But there was no repeat this time as they were knocked out despite taking one win apiece.

Friday’s action began with ROC Thailand, a four-way battle between drivers from the host country. The competition started with a group stage involving Charoensukawattana, Sritrai, Nattapon Horthongkum and drift guru Sak ‘Kiki’ Nana.

Charoensukawattana and Sritrai progressed to the final, with 49-year-old Bangkok resident Charoensukawattana coming out on top. Those results earned both finalists the honour of representing Team Thailand in ROC Asia along with Saturday’s ROC Nations Cup and Sunday’s individual Race Of Champions.

Charoensukawattana said: “It was a great race today and I would like to thank all my fans because their support was powerful. My experience helped but what was most important was that I didn’t make any mistakes. This is the first time we’ve had this event in Thailand and I hope it will come back next year too. If I have another opportunity next year I will definitely come here again.”

ROC 2012 continues in Bangkok for the rest of the weekend with a dazzling line-up of motor sport stars including Formula 1 world champions Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel plus MotoGP world champions Mick Doohan and Jorge Lorenzo.

 

F1Weekly podcast # 610

F1WEEKLY PODCAST NUMBER 610 CLARK AND NASIR ON THE THE FINAL RACE OF THE SEASON, SEBASTIAN VETTEL’S THIRD CHAMPIONSHIP AND FERNANDO’S GREAT SEASON. AND SPECIAL MOTORSPORTS MONDIAL INTERVIEW WITH MAX VERSTAPPEN

Also; Here are the final thoughts from HRT drivers after the Brazilian GP.

Pedro de la Rosa: “It’s been a great race and I enjoyed driving very much. You never knew what to expect as conditions were changing every lap. You had to keep focused as it was easy to make mistakes and we pulled it out quite well. It’s certainly been one of the most enjoyable races of my career. We have done a good job overall and I am quite happy with the outcome. We wanted to finish on a good note and I think we did. I also want to congratulate Vettel on his third title. And finally thank the team for their tireless work and commitment and also our sponsors and fans that have supported and pushed us from the beginning to the end of this amazing season.”
 
Narain Karthikeyan: “It has certainly been one of the most difficult races of the season given the changing weather and track conditions. But I am very satisfied with how we all dealt with it and the way we drove. It was a bit of a gamble as weather conditions kept on changing during the whole race and it was easy to loose tyre temperature or overuse them when the track was drying out. But we managed the situation well and got both cars across the finish line, which is a positive way to finish the season. I want to thank the whole team for the work they’ve done all year and I am very proud to be part of this team”.
 
Luis Pérez-Sala, Team Principal: “What an amazing and difficult race! The changing conditions made it quite challenging out there and both drivers stayed fully focused from the beginning to the end and put in a fantastic performance. The work that all mechanics and engineers did in the garage was also very good and both cars got to the checkered flag, which is the best way to finish this long, tough but rewarding season. I am really proud of every single team member, without whom this season wouldn’t have been possible. But also thank our sponsors, partners and fans alike for their continuous support”.
[audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/mp3.f1weekly.com/podcasts/11-30-12f1weekly610.mp3]

Formula 1

INDIAN GRAND PRIX FRIDAY PRACTICE DRIVE QUOTES…

Sebastian Vettel

“Friday’s are always difficult with so many things changing. The track improvement was quite big today, it was dusty to start and improved lap by lap, so I wouldn’t be surprised if tomorrow the order is different, but we’ve had worse Fridays, so I am happy. We need to keep working and improve a little bit overnight.”

Mark Webber

“That went pretty well. I had a lock-up in Turn 1, which I could have done without, but it wasn’t the end of the world. We got on with the important stuff, which is understanding the soft tyre on short and long runs. We’ll have a look where we can improve the car, you can always improve. The team is incredibly motivated and the drivers also.”

Pedro de la Rosa

“I loved the circuit. It’s really nice and also very challenging. You have to use the kerbs a lot and the car really suffers, so we have to drive carefully. Overall I had good sensations with the balance of the car, especially in the afternoon when I was able to do more laps. But we’ve still got a lot of room for improvement and if we’re able to improve the balance of the car we’ll be able to run better. Especially in changes of direction because we lose too much time on quick corners and we can correct that. Now we must continue working on the set-up of the car to have a good qualifying session tomorrow”.

Narain Karthikeyan

 “It was a great feeling racing in India once again, at home. The first session went pretty well and in the afternoon we decided to change the balance of the car to improve certain aspects. We’d just set the soft tyres when, unfortunately, we suffered a hydraulic failure which impeded us from improving our times. But the problem should be fixed for tomorrow so I hope to have a good qualifying session”.

Giedo van der Garde (in Heikki Kovalainen’s car for FP1):

 “It was another good session for me today and one I want to dedicate to my Grandpa who sadly passed away last week. I know he’s always been very proud of me and he told me to enjoy myself whenever I’m driving, so I made sure I did today. The circuit is pretty technical but I was up to speed quickly and didn’t have any problems getting through the plan we were running today. One thing that was really obvious was just how much the track evolves – even on my first run I could feel the grip levels improving with every lap, so by Sunday it will probably feel very different, but for me in FP1 it was fine.

“I’ll be back in the car again next week in Abu Dhabi at a track I know well, and then I have two full days at the Yas Marina Circuit in the young driver test. It’s good to keep adding to the mileage I’ve already done this year and I’m really pleased with how much progress I’m making with the car and the team in general.”

Heikki Kovalainen, 

 “Having sat out FP1 the key for me was getting through as many laps as possible and I’m pleased with what we achieved in FP2. The balance has been pretty good all afternoon on both tyre compounds – we did have some understeer in the high speed corners on the first run on the soft tyres but we dialled that out for the long run and the car felt good as the grip levels kept improving. It’s good to see clear air between us and the cars behind and maybe we can play with the tyre strategy tomorrow to push closer to the cars ahead – that has to be the aim.”
 
Vitaly Petrov, 

 “FP1 went well for me. Even though there wasn’t a lot of grip early on the car felt pretty good and we got through a lot of aero work that gives us data to work on tonight. In FP2 we were again running well but on my second run on the soft tyres it looked like we might have had a problem with the engine so we ended the session a little early to let the Renault Sport F1 guys take a look and make sure we prevented any damage. Until that point the car had again felt good and we’d found a balance where deg levels on the tyres were very manageable. I think we’re in quite good shape for tomorrow and Sunday so hopefully we can have a strong weekend here in India.”

Kimi Räikkönen,

“The circuit is nice. For me it was easier to learn than the Korean track ; it’s not as technical but it’s good. It’s always nice to come to a new place like this – I’ve been racing for many years, and you always end up going to the same places so it’s good when you get a new place and a new circuit. For sure we can still improve on one lap but I think we are not far away from our maximum speed. Of course I hope that we are faster than McLaren. Our car was working well, especially on soft tyres but with the hard tyres it was more difficult to find grip.”

Romain Grosjean,

 “It’s been very hard to set-up the car as the track has been evolving a lot through the day ; from zero grip in the morning to much better in the afternoon. However, we’ve made good progress today and we’re working on improving further overnight. There are a few blind corners, and some quick places where you don’t want to make mistakes either. Hopefully we find the car we want for qualifying and get what we want tomorrow.”

Paul Di Resta

 “It was not an easy session for me. The balance is still not perfect and we need to work hard tonight to try and improve that before final practice. The main issue of the day was the puncture I picked up half-way through FP2 because I missed out on my high-fuel run on the soft tyres. Also, it was hard to get a clean lap during my low fuel run because the track was so busy. We’ve got data with the other car but it would have been helpful to have run more laps and got a proper feel for the soft.”

Nico Hulkenberg  

 “It was my first experience of the Buddh circuit today and I have to say they have done a really nice job. There’s a good flow to the lap and the second sector is very technical and challenging. The programme for me today was quite straightforward because we managed to do everything we wanted. I completed a decent long run on the soft tyres this afternoon and I think we are quite well prepared going into tomorrow.”

Bruno Senna:

 We were working hard to get the optimum car set-up today so we had to try a number of things to get the right balance during the second session. On the whole we have had a very productive day and completed what we had set out to do. Now we need to work on improving our set-up ahead of tomorrow’s qualifying.

Pastor Maldonado

Today the pace wasn’t quite where we want it to be for qualifying so we will have to work hard and analyse where we can improve to give us the sort of one-lap pace that will get us into Q3. Our long runs continue to be strong though, like they have been all season, so that’s encouraging for the race itself.

Valtteri Bottas

It was a good first practice today because we managed to complete a busy programme. We completed some good aero evaluations and managed to get a good amount of data. This was my first time driving this circuit and I can tell that it will become one of my favourites because it has a nice flow to it and the surface is very smooth which means that tyre wear is lower so you can push the car a bit more.

 

Formula One

TATA TEA TO SPONSOR NARAIN KARTHIKEYAN AND HRT FORMULA 1 TEAM FOR SINGAPORE AND INDIAN GRANDS PRIX-

HRT Formula 1 Team and Tata Global Beverages (TGB) announce today its brand Tata Tea’s association with Indian Formula 1 driver Narain Karthikeyan and the HRT Formula 1 team for the 2012 Singapore and Indian Grands Prix scheduled from September 21-23 and October 26-28 respectively.

Tata Global Beverages will be extensively promoting the ‘Tata Tea’ brand via this association, with prominent Tata Tea logos appearing on the F112 and Narain Karthikeyan’s helmet and drinking bottle. TGB’s association with Narain Karthikeyan and consequently, Formula 1, will also give it a platform to connect with a large global viewership worldwide, which is second only to the football World Cup.

VIKRAM GROVER, VICE-PRESIDENT, MARKETING, TATA GLOBAL BEVERAGES: “We are pleased to partner with Narain Karthikeyan, the first Indian to compete in the coveted Formula 1. Narain reflects the Indian youth’s latent talent awakening to global sports which Tata Tea has been supporting since the launch of its Jaago-Re campaign e.g. The Tata Tea Jaago Re Inter Milan Soccer Stars program which is in its fifth season currently. Narain also cherishes much the same values as the Tata Tea brand which is evidenced by his support to an institution which provides school education and free boarding for female children belonging to the backward and the underprivileged sections of the society. Also, Formula 1’s inherent teamwork, technology, innovation and fitness-centric nature synergises well with Tata Global Beverages’ focus of being a global, health-enhancing, ‘good for you’ beverages Company”.

NARAIN KARTHIKEYAN: “The Tata Group has supported me since my early days of competition so it is great to be associated with yet another world-class Tata brand. Tata Tea’s endeavour in awakening India’s latent talent in global sports is known and has given fruitful results to the country. TGB’s support will go a long way to help us develop the car and achieve the best possible results during this part of the season. Both Singapore and Indian Grands Prix are unique events on the calendar and I am really looking forward to them”.

LUIS PÉREZ-SALA, TEAM PRINCIPAL: “For two seasons now Tata and Tata Motors have offered important and loyal support for HRT Formula 1 Team and it is great news that Tata Beverages has joined not only Narain’s image but also that of the team for two very important Grands Prix such as Singapore and India. This incorporation is further proof of the good relationship we have with the Tata Group, which not only establishes itself but continues to grow at the same time as the team in such a competitive world as is Formula 1”.

About Tata Tea and Tata Global Beverages

Tata Tea is a leading brand in India and is owned by Tata Global Beverages, a company whose products have significant presence in over 40 countries. Tata Global Beverages is a global beverage business and the world’s second largest tea company. The group’s annual turnover is US$1.5bn and it employs around 3,000 people worldwide. The company focuses on ‘good for you’ beverages and has a stable of innovative regional and global beverage brands, including: Tata Tea, Tetley, Himalayan natural mineral water, Good Earth and Eight O’clock coffee. For more information please visit our website www.tataglobalbeverages.com

 

Motorsports Mondial

 

Photo: lotus f1

HRT F1 team Chinese Grand Prix Preview

It was mission accomplished for HRT Formula 1 Team in Malaysia a couple of weeks ago after both cars qualified and completed their first race of the season after a hard start. The F112 accumulated many kilometres and data on the track and the engineers had a lot of information to work on during the two week period between the race in Sepang and China. Having met the team’s targets last time out, HRT now aims to progress from where it left things in Malaysia and continue improving.

The Shanghai International Circuit is made up of sixteen turns, with nine being right-handers and seven left-handers. Cars reach maximum speeds on the 1.2km straight between corners 13 and 14, where they try and take advantage of the length of the straight to overtake. In China, the team will have a new member on board, Ma Qing Hua, who will be joining the outfit for the first time as a member of the driver development programme at his local Grand Prix.

Pirelli have elected their soft and medium tyres for this grand prix.

Pedro de la Rosa, #22: “After these first two Grands Prix we arrive in China much better prepared, with more mileage and having learned a lot, especially after the Malaysian GP. All the data gathered in the last race is very important for us, as we mustn’t forget that we didn’t have a preseason. Now we have a better insight on the areas where we must improve, but the most important thing in this initial stage is to finish races. That is the prime objective in order to learn and improve race by race. The hardest part comes now but we are better prepared. China is a circuit where I have always done well and a place I know well, both in dry and wet conditions. It’s not a particularly hard track for the car or the driver, but aerodynamics are fundamental”.

Narain Karthikeyan, #23: “We took a step forward in Malaysia and our aim is definitely to carry the momentum into China and rest of the season. Although we managed to finish the race, cooling was still an issue at Sepang and once we have it sorted out completely we’ll be able to unlock some more performance from the car. The back straight at the Shanghai circuit is of course one of the longest on the calendar and the tightening first corner is uniquely challenging since the corner entry is in top gear and by the time you exit you’re in second. Plus there are a fair amount of technical slow-speed corners as well, and the high-speed direction change of turns 7/8. Given these mixed characteristics, it is a demanding circuit for traction, aero and braking stability in equal measures”.

Luis Pérez-Sala, Team Principal: “The start to the season was very complicated because we were behind schedule with regards to the other teams. We had to put in a colossal effort to be able to get on track in Australia and improve our performance just one week later in Malaysia. There’s still plenty to do and many areas to improve on to be where we should be but at least in these two weeks we’ve had a bit more time to analyse data, prepare and recharge batteries, therefore I’m confident that we’re arriving in China in a much better situation. We mustn’t forget that the F112 is only taking its first steps and, as of today, what we must do is progress without stopping. In Shanghai we’ll have some small updates to optimize cooling and aerodynamics, and the target for this weekend is to check that these adjustments work. To sum up, we have to get more out of the car but must als o improve on teamwork and coordination”.

Motorsports Mondial

Confirmed as an official driver for HRT F1 Team for 2012, the Indian driver shares his views on the upcoming season.

Q: It has finally been revealed that you will occupy the last seat available as an official driver, how are you facing this new challenge in Formula 1?

NK: 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. 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.

Q: The uncertainty you’ve faced in the period spanning from the end of last season until the moment you’ve been confirmed can’t have been easy to handle. What have you done to keep yourself occupied?

NK: Well, there were more ups and downs than I can remember, positive and negative days – sometimes I just gave up but it was quickly followed by yet another glimmer of hope. It was exhausting mentally, but like the adage goes, all’s well that ends well.

There was plenty to keep me occupied during the winter though, like I said earlier I trained as hard as I would have if my drive was confirmed last season; fitness is critical in F1 and racing in general. Then there were lots of discussions, which meant a lot of travelling – flights, hotel stays and those sorts of things. So I didn’t have a whole lot of time to sit and mull over things, to be honest.

Q: This will be your third season in Formula 1, what targets have you set yourself?

NK: As far as results go, it largely depends on the development of the car, although I must say that things are looking promising. Otherwise, I have no doubts in my ability, I am extremely confident as last year and after the first few races, I drove better than ever. So I’ll be pushing hard no doubt about that.

A lot of things change this year even though it is the same team, and I am sure it’ll be for the better. The new management is wholly focused on all-round improvement and from what I have seen – they will do so.

Q: Practically the whole structure is new with respect to 2011, what sensations have the new directors given you?

NK: The team has some very capable and experienced people on-board now, like the new Team Principal Luis Pérez-Sala and my teammate Pedro de la Rosa. So things are definitely changing for the better ever since the new owners have taken over. Saul (Ruiz de Marco, HRT F1 CEO) has a very good approach to what F1 should be, by applying his entrepreneurship experience to the team and I’m sure that it will lead to better things. Everyone knows it is impossible to change things in F1 overnight but we have certainly taken strides in the right direction.

Q: How would you define yourself as a driver?

NK: One thing’s for sure – I never give up. I’m here, against all odds and expectations, which wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. I have worked incredibly hard, I believe in my ability and know that I am as quick as anyone else out there.

Q: What do you know about and what would you highlight about your teammate Pedro de la Rosa?

NK: My first ever test was with Jaguar in 2001 and I remember Pedro was the team driver at the time. Even though I don’t know him very well, I know that he’s very experienced and from what I’ve seen, has a pleasant personality. We should be getting on well – it is not about trying to beat each other but working harmoniously to help the team progress as a whole. Healthy competition will collectively allow us to get the maximum out of the car and fast-forward the development process.

He has a vast amount of developmental experience with a front-running team – so it’ll count a lot for the team in terms of approaching things and making the most out of our resources.

Q: What do you think you can contribute to the team this year?

NK: 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.

Q: Coming from a country with not much motorsport tradition, what led you to pursue the dream of making it to Formula 1?

NK: Ever since I started my racing career, I had just one goal in mind – Formula 1. It was definitely an unconventional dream to have, considering we had very little by the way of motorsport in India. Understandably, at the time I failed to realise what an uphill task it was. A more concrete picture emerged when I started racing in Europe, and it was during that time I came to terms with the harsh realities in earnest. We didn’t know the right steps to get to F1, but several setbacks made my resolve only stronger and my perseverance ultimately paid off when I made my debut in 2005.  

Q: Last year you made history by becoming the first Indian driver ever to race at the Indian GP. What dreams do you have left to fulfill?

NK: For me, Formula 1 is a continued dream, it is always ultra-competitive and competing at the pinnacle of the sport is what I love. So I am very happy to have the opportunity to continue living my dream and I have every intention to make the best out of it.