The Formula 1 World Championship returned to action today at the Buddh International Circuit with the celebration of the first day of practice sessions at the Indian Grand Prix.
In the morning, Narain Karthikeyan had a fruitful session and proved to be competitive from the get go.
But his afternoon session came to an early end after the team spotted a minor hydraulic failure and decided to bring him back to the garage for an exhaustive examination.
The problem was located and it shouldn’t be an issue for tomorrow’s sessions. Despite this, Karthikeyan finished in 23rd, ahead of Charles Pic.
His teammate Pedro de la Rosa, who was racing at the Indian track for the first time, started off by getting to know the circuit and doing small tests with the hard tyres in the morning whilst the track conditions improved.
In the afternoon he also tested the soft tyres and carried out long distance runs to finish in 21st position, ahead of both Marussias.
The conditions will improve even more for tomorrow but both F112’s also have room for improvement before tomorrow’s qualifying session and Sunday’s race.
Pedro de la Rosa (F112-02 - FP1: 24th, 13 laps, 1:32.859 - FP2: 21st, 37 laps, 1:30.950): "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 (F112-01 - FP1: 22nd, 24 laps, 1:32.125 - 23rd, 20 laps, 1:31.372): "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”.
Luis Pérez-Sala, Team Principal: "I’ve got mixed feelings today. Narain was running very well but a hydraulic issue prevented him from getting the most out of the soft tyres.
And Pedro was the other way round; in the morning he didn’t run much because we had to change the brakes, and he didn’t know the circuit, but he adapted very quickly and in the afternoon he did some tests on a full tank and set a very good time.
We have to try and improve the car to fight for a good result in qualifying”.
Source: HRT - Formula 1 Team