Narain Karthikeyan’s 2014 Super Formula debut with a hit and miss
Narain Karthikeyan qualified in the front row for Round 1 of 2014 Super Formula season at Suzuka Circuit but an on-track incident with race winner Loic Duval hampered his top 5 finish hopes. He began in 5th place after a 3 place grid penalty having impeded another car during free practice.
>â€śIt has been a disappointing end to the weekend after a promising start. We should have started on the front row but were fifth on the grid and then the incident with Duval scrapped any remaining hopesâ€ť, remarked a disappointed Narain.
He added, â€śDuring the driversâ€™ briefing, the organisers were clear that a three-place penalty will be awarded in case a driver is found impeding others during qualifying, but in my case it was during the start of the practice session which doesnâ€™t really count towards anything. So the penalty was quite harsh and unfair in my opinion and such miscommunication needs to be avoided in the future.â€ť
â€śThe pace was four seconds or so slower with full tanks [compared to qualifying], so we obviously had to be careful during the earlier stages and track temperatures were considerably lower as wellâ€ť, explained Narain.
â€śThe car became undriveable after the hit and there was massive oversteer in left handed corners. I thought of continuing but it was just not possible given the circuit has several high-speed left handersâ€ť, he elaborated.
His Lenovo Team Impul teammate JoĂŁo Paulo de Oliveira finished 7th.
â€śWe know that we have the pace which is very important, we need to work a bit on the race strategy since it is new for everyone â€“ me and the team, with refuelling and so on. At the next race in Fuji, we need to have a more rounded weekend and take our qualifying advantage into the race and put some solid points on the board to start our season in earnestâ€ť, he concluded.