Tag Archives: Narain Karthikeyan

Time to say Goodbye: Narain Karthikeyan

2 Feb

Isn’t he the cucumber one, how’s his F1 career been?

Like Timo Glock who we featured earlier in the series Narain Karthikeyan (or the cucumber as Vettel calls him) is one of the few drivers who’s had two chances, but unlike Glock it hasn’t been his talent that’s given him this opportunity it was his millions of pounds of sponsorship that came with him that’s secured him a seat. His first chance came in 2005 with Jordan and it was a shocker to say the least, Narain made in into the top 10 on only 1 occasion where he finished a fantastic forth at the US GP, an achievement that was rather undermined by the fact that only 6 cars were allowed to start the race. As a result of this poor season no one was willing to take him for 2006 when Jordan left F1.

I bet few people predicted him returning to F1 after that?

You could definitely say that but when cash strapped HRT were looking for a driver who came with sponsorship backing Karthikeyan stepped into the team to drive for them in 2011. 2011 was a pretty awful season, first he failed to make the cut in the season opener in Australia and he than found every race an uphill struggle until HRT dropped him in favour of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo mid season. Due to sponsorship reasons Karthikeyan raced for HRT in the Indian GP. Despite this HRT brought him back in for 2012 but it didn’t start much better Karthikeyan yet again failed to qualify in Australia, and this set the precedent for the year with no thrilling performances and only being newsworthy when he was involved in an incident.

Being India’s first F1 driver has he set hearts racing over there?

Not set them ablaze but he’s helped light the fire, he competed in India’s inaugural F1 race and has played a major part in the setting up of an Indian national racing series.

Wow that’s good. So what do you expect him to do now?

I very much doubt he’ll ever return to F1 (although that was said in 2006) but I do expect that Narain will take a position in some executive role with the Indian motorsport body in a bid to promote Formula 1 in India, he should be very good at that role, and since he’s 36 retirement from motorsport wouldn’t be surprising.

How do you rate his F1 career?

2/10 he just didn’t have the calibre.

 

Lotus impress but still no victory

8 Jul

Driver ratings, GB 12, pt.2, HRT Lotus and Maussia

Pedro De La Rosa: 5/10 Q22 S21 F20

For 1 lap Pedro appeared to actually impress as Pedro capitalised on mistakes and accident to move up 2 places on lap 1. Sadly HRT bounced him back to reality, and all he could finish was 22nd.

Narain Karthikeyan: 4/10 Q23 S22 F21

If it weren’t for the money Narain wouldn’t be allowed near the racing seat of the HRT but F1 moves in mysterious ways and Karthikeyan is allowed to drive. Not that it means much though as he finished at the back.

Kimi Raikkonen: 8/10 Q6 S6 F5

Many expected his return to be like Schumacher’s and fail to deliver but Kimi has stormed back into F1 and added to his points tally at Silverstone. It was a really strong performance by Kimi to take home another 10 points and put himself in a great position for the championship, even better still he set the fastest lap..

Romain Grosjean: 10/10 Q10 S9 F6 #DriverOfTheDay

Romain drove fantastically all weekend, although a mistake at the end of Q2 saw the Lotus beached and left Romain unable to contest Q3, if he had we could easily have expected him to be around 6th. In the race though Romain made up for that spin, the first lap was marred by a slight touch with Paul Di Resta which saw Grosjean have to pit for a new wing, but Grosjean was a man possessed and he set fastest lap after fastest lap to storm his way up the field, if he hadn’t had that front wing pitstop I think he would have finished on the podium.

Timo Glock: 5/10 Q21 S20 F18

It was good to see Timo back after missing the Valencia GP with a stomach bug, but it was your typical ‘new team’ performance with Timo only coming home above team-mate Pic and the HRTs.

Charles Pic: 4/10 Q24 S24 F19

Charles started the season looking strong, but in recent weeks he’s tailed off and yet again Charles qualified behind the HRTs. Luckily Pic managed to make the car work in the race which helped him to finish above the HRTs in an uneventful race.

Romain Grosjean was so near but so far

24 Jun

Picture courtest of formulaone.com

Driver Ratings Europe 12, Pt.2, HRT, Lotus and Marusia

Pedro De La Rosa: 7/10 Q21 F17

HRT are at last managing to find some much needed speed , both HRTs qualified ahead of the sole Marussia and De La Rosa put in a strong performance to finish only 1 lap behind Alonso (although he was helped by the new safety car rules).

Narain Karthikeyan: 7/10 Q22 F18

A miracle saw Narain Karthikeyan set a lap faster than fellow back marker Charles Pic, and he was regularly not the last man on track due to other drivers suffering accident damage.

Kimi Raikkonen: 9/10 Q5 F2

Kimi had been looking promising all weekend, but his race started off rather drab. It was only after the safety car returned to the pits that Kimi really started to charge, profiting from the retirements of Vettel, Grosjean and Hamilton to finish 2nd and pick up his first podium since Monza 2009.

Romain Grosjean: 10/10 Q4 F ret.

Romain has really landed on his feet this season and yet again he was impressive in qualifying, but it was the race where he made hearts race. Romain overtook Maldonado in a hectic first lap but he took too long to pass the ailing Lewis Hamilton to start charging after Vettel. Romain would probably have been delighted with the safety car as it let him close the gap to Vettel, but the restart wasn’t good as Alonso overtook him at turn 2. Maybe Grosjean could have still won the race but we will never know as an alternator ended his race on lap 40.

Charles Pic: 7/10 Q23 F15

May have been outperformed by both HRTs in qualifying but Charles showed them that HRT still have a thing to learn from Marussia’s in the race. Maybe most amazingly Pic even finished ahead of Felipe Massa.

Timo Glock: – DNQ DNS

Timo Glock pulled out of qualifying and the race with a stomach bug.

Picture courtesy of formulaone.com

 

Vettel takes pole by a mile

23 Jun

3 winners and losers of qualifying, Europe (Valencia) 12.

Winners:

  • Force India: performed phenomenally in qualifying, both cars making it into Q3, Hulkenburg will start 8th and Di Resta will start 10th. Force India clearly suit this circuit, they’ve picked up points here in the last 3 European GPs.
  • Narain Karthikeyan: It was a fantastic effort by Narain to set a lap in qualifying that’s faster than another drivers as Karthikeyan will start ahead of both Marussia’s tomorrow after going 0.1 seconds faster than Charles Pic.
  • Sebastian Vettel: In a qualifying session where everyone was looking for an extra hundredth of a second for Vettel to take pole 0.3 seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton.

Photo courtesy of formulaone.com

 

Losers:

  • Ferrari: Their decision to start by going out on Mediums in Q2 proved to be costly in Q2, despite both drivers both putting in laps on the softs neither driver had the time to make it to Q3. Alonso will start 11th and Massa 13th. Even more embarrassing for Ferrari is that Ferrari president Luca Di Monteaemolo made an impromptu appearance in the Ferrari garage for qualifying.
  • Mark Webber: Mark struggled all day today with gearbox issues and this cost him a place in Q2, Mark will start from 19th tomorrow unless he needs to change a gearbox in which case he will start 24th.
  • Timo Glock: Timo has been feeling unwell all weekend, but news came through just before Q1 that Timo would not take part in qualifying as he needed to go to hospital with a stomach bug.

Photo courtesy of formulaone.com

 

Valencia driver ratings.

21 Jun

Sebastian Vettel 5/10

Starting to get a bit dull with Vettel constantly winning, this is reducing his scores as he’s only achieving what’s expected.

Webber 6/10

Qualified 2nd to prove the Red Bull can be drove quickly by him but couldn’t match Alonso in the race. Sadly for Mark it’s going to take a huge push to turn around the standings and finish 1st.

Hamilton 7/10

Well he finished the race but didn’t really perform to the expected expectations. In the race Lewis finished half a minute behind the top 3. Seems like race pace is the problem for McLaren as Hamilton was swamped by both the Ferraris at the start.

Button 6/10

Not at the same level as he was in Montreal and qualifying 6th ruined his chances of winning, Jenson almost lost 6th to Rosberg in the race but he quickly got it back again. The big problem JB had was finishing a whole minute behind Vettel.

Alonso 8/10

Provided the excitement  in the race by attacking the Red Bulls but still couldn’t match Vettel, qualifying 4th wasn’t as good as he may have been expecting but took Hamilton early to set up an attack on Webber.

Massa 8/10

Another good performance by Massa will help Maranello to regain confidence in him. Biggest problem was using too many sets of softs in qualifying and this held him back in the race. Took Hamilton at the first corner and could have gone up to second at the second corner if he hadn’t held back.

Rosberg 6/10

Another good performance by Rosberg, if he keeps this up he may pick up his first win in the next few seasons.

Schumacher 4/10

The only reason he was so far back was due to hitting Petrov and losing the front wing – something he admitted was his fault later. But Schumacher  wasn’t as good as he has been.

Petrov 3/10

Not good is all I can say, Vitaly failed to qualify for Q3 and then manages to finish 15th! The only excuse Vitaly can have for his performance is that Schumacher’s conflict with him fazed him.

Heidfeld 6/10

Showed Vitaly Petrov that the car was worth of doing well at Valencia by out qualifying his team mate to make it to Q3 (qualifying has been one of Nicks weak points this year) and then holding on to a point for the finish. After Renaults great start to the campaign I think their car is starting to lag behind the leaders.

Adrian Sutil 7/10

Showing signs of closing the gap in qualifying to his teammate Paul Di Resta by out qualifying him and making it to Q3 (although not going out to set a time is disappointing for him) and then a good race clawing up 1 place to finish with 2 points.

Paul Di Resta 5/10

Not Di Resta’s best race as he failed to outperform his team mate in qualifying before managing to lose two places in the race to allow this to not go down in his all time best races.

Kamui Kobayashi 4/10

You know a race isn’t going to have overtaking when Kobayashi doesn’t manages to lose places in the race and isn’t making headlines for amazing manoeuvres. Kamui would have got a 5 if it hadn’t been for the way you just expect him to liven up a race.

Sergio Perez 7/10

Another good race by the Ferrari prospect (he’s part of their driver training program and is a serious contender to replace Massa at the Scud) saw him rise from 16th to 11th and made up for his teammates lack of excitement.

Rubens Barrichello 5/10

Average at best qualified 13th and finished 12th in a rather uneventful day at the office.

Pastor Maldonado 4/10

Another Williams driver who did next to nothing to liven up a dull race although his stalling at a corner bringing out a red flag was the most exciting thing to happen in qualifying. Managed to lose 3 places during the race, all to drivers who shot up the race timings.

Sebastian Buemi 8/10

A good rise from 17th to 13th ensured that the fight for the Toro Rosso seat is becoming even more tense and exciting, apart from that he was very much like the race: dull and uneventful.

Jaime Alguersuari 10/10

Can I give higher than 10. In a otherwise dull race Jaime set Spanish hearts racing by rising, wait for it, 10 spots to finish 8th. I’m a fan of Jaime and this race proved the potential he has, I can only hope he carries on like this to secure the Toro Rosso seat.

Heikki Kovalainen, Jarno Trulli, Timo Glock, Jerome D’Ambrosio, Vitantonio Liuzzi and Narain Karthikeyan 6/10

Sadly none of them were taking any headlines or really overtaking. The main reason for this is probably that there wasn’t a safety car which would have gave them a chance of taking a risk which may pull off.

The race as a whole 1/10

In one word dull. In 5 dull dull dull dull dull. I’m enjoying the new Pirellis but they just couldn’t liven it up. I think that with this race losing it’s pull factor that we need two races in Germany (Hockenheim  and Nurburgring) both are great tracks and deserve the GP and Germany has the highest number of drivers in the championship and the two of the current biggest icons: Schue and Vettel.

Driver Ratings, Monaco 12, Pt.2 HRT, Lotus and Marussia

27 May

Pedro De La Rosa: 5/10 Q21 S20 ret.

Pedro did quite well in qualifying even managing to qualify ahead of a Marussia but his race was short lived, he had to retire on the first lap due to an accident.

Narain Karthikeyan: 4/10 Q23 S22 F15

On paper it was a good result to finish 15th, but in reality it was dire. He was the only driver to be lapped twice and it was only that he was being lapped that he deserved to be on TV as he made a nuisance of himself.

Kimi Raikkonen: 6/10 Q8 F9

To be fair to Kimi he was definitely on a wet weather strategy and when that rain failed to come he was never going to repeat his podiums of previous races, but he failed to perform in qualifying as the increasingly quick Ferraris demoted him down the order.

Romain Grosjean: 7/10 Q5 S4 F ret

Romain’s race was over before it had begun as he was forced to retire on the first lap after a collision at turn 1. But it was a good weekend for Romain up to then, he qualified fantastically in 4th and maybe could have picked up a podium if he’s stayed in.

Timo Glock: 6/10 Q20 S19 F14

It was a good qualifying performance as he out qualified team mate Charles Pic, something he hasn’t managed as much as he’d have liked recently. Timo’s race was distinctly average despite rising 4 places on the first lap. Sadly the race couldn’t continue that momentum and he profited from a few late retirements to move up to 14th.

Charles Pic: 6/10 Q22 S21 F ret.

It was a shame that Charles couldn’t complete the race due to electric problem on lap 64, up to then he’d drove well, he gained 5 places on the first lap and running in a fantastic 16th place before retirement, and he’d have finished 14th if he hadn’t retired.

Driver Ratings, Spain 12, Pt.2 HRT, Lotus and Marussia

13 May

Pedro De La Rosa: 5/10 Q23 S22 F19

Another poor weekend. 23rd in all the practice sessions and then 23rd in qualifying, would he have finished so ‘high’ up without drivers retirements? Definitely not.

Narain Karthikeyan: 4/10 Q24 S23 Ret.

Very disappointing display by Narain, missed 107% by a country mile to ensure he’s been the slowest driver in every qualifying session and then did very little (except get in the way) come the race.

Kimi Raikkonen: 8/10 Q5 S4 F3

What a great drive! He overtook his team mate on the first lap and was the only driver to threaten Maldonado and Alonso through the entire race. Maybe if the race had been one lap longer he could have caught Fernando, but all that matters is that the return is going well and he’s got 2 podiums in the last 2 races.

Romain Grosjean: 8/10 Q4 S3 F4

What en exciting talent. The signing of Grosjean looks like a mighty pull by Lotus who are now 3rd in the constructors championship and Romain drove a non eventful race to take home another 12 points. Could Romain win the F1 title only a year after winning GP2? Only time will tell.

Timo Glock: 6/10 Q22 S21 F18

For the second race in a row Timo was behind his fellow Marussia on the grid, but that didn’t last long, overtaking Pic and two others on the first lap and constantly battling away to try and get the Marussia into a respectful position.

Charles Pic: 7/10 Q21 S20 ret.

Congratulations are in order for Charles, out qualifying Timo for the second race in a row, the race was no less eventful, delaying Fernando Alonso (probably what stopped Fernando winning) and then when he did his drive thru he just entered the garage never to return die to a drive shaft problem. Better luck next time.