Hispania’s Narain Karthikeyan, the country’s first Formula 1 driver and a key local interest at the inaugural Indian Grand Prix, did a reality check on Saturday, saying that his car was not the best equipped machine for the Buddh International Circuit, leaving him with a rather modest aim for October 30: to finish the race.
“This (the Indian race) is a very symbolic and historic moment for me (but) Hispania has its limitations,” Karthikeyan said. “It is not suited for the Indian track as it is a high downforce track and the HRT cars lack downforce.
“So to finish among points will be a tall order but I’ll try my best and the idea is to bring the car home to the chequered flag. But having said that, we haven’t raced in our car on this track and it could turn out to be better than we predict,” he added.
Downforce allows an F1 car to negotiate corners at a very high speed without the danger of the car lifting off the track and also enables tremendous deceleration. This disadvantage reflects in Hispania’s — and Karthikeyan’s — performance this season.