Promising start for India in Shanghai Narain Karthikeyan was back on track today, at the Shanghai International Circuit, the venue of his last F1 race. A1 Team India's preparations for Sunday's races began well, the F1 test driver posting the...
Promising start for India in Shanghai
Narain Karthikeyan was back on track today, at the Shanghai International Circuit, the venue of his last F1 race. A1 Team India's preparations for Sunday's races began well, the F1 test driver posting the second quickest time in first practice. The team remained at the top of the timesheets for the rest of the day and after experimenting with set up, finished fourth in Friday's final practice session.
While Karthikeyan is racing on a familiar track in A1GP for the first time this weekend, the track has been altered since the cars last raced at Shanghai a year ago. The cars will now run on a shortened 2.9 mile circuit, which includes a new chicane at turn three, rejoining the original track at turn 8 now turn 6. The A1 Team India car completed 40 laps around the revised circuit today, with series front runners Great Britain, New Zealand and France the only teams able to set a quicker time than India's Karthikeyan.
Commenting on the revised layout and new chicane, Karthikeyan commented, "The new chicane after turn three is a new addition and it's certainly not my favourite part of the track. Overall however, the circuit is very good, very smooth and wide, which means there is plenty of space to overtake."
"I will be going through data and talking to my engineer this afternoon to decide what changes we want to make ahead of qualifying tomorrow. I'm much happier with the balance of the car this weekend, I feel very confident on track but I still think there is more time to be found. "
A1 Team India seatholder Yohann Setna was also pleased with the team's progress in practice, "I think we've made a couple of positive changes to the car today and Narain is quite comfortable on track. It's not a particularly difficult circuit, the surface is very smooth and very wide. I think we need to find a little bit more in terms of top speed. We're quite happy to finish the day in the top four; we'll try a few things in final practice tomorrow and hopefully qualify in the top three. I think it's looking good. "
The team will analyse data this afternoon before a final practice session tomorrow morning at 11.00 local time. A1 Team India will then fight for its place on the Sprint race grid, which will be decided by a unique four segment qualifying session, followed by the Feature race later in the afternoon.
-credit: team india