India’s Narain Karthikeyan was left disappointed on Friday after heavy rain spoiled his last Formula One outing before he tackles the his home race next week.
Karthikeyan, who will deputise for Vitantonio Liuzzi with the Hispania team for India’s inaugural grand prix, managed just 14 laps during a rain-hit practice day at South Korea’s Yeongam circuit.
“We really wanted to do a lot of laps today,” said Madras-born Karthikeyan, who placed 15th in the morning session. “I need them and this weather was a problem.
“It doesn’t matter how long you train, when you get in the car it’s like, ‘I’ve been away for a long time’. Speed doesn’t go away, it’s just the physical aspects of driving.
“You can be on it for a lap but to be on it for 20 laps is a different matter. It’s surprisingly very, very hot in Delhi. It was 37 degrees Celsius (99 Fahrenheit) this week and I don’t think it will cool down that much.”
But Karun Chandhok, who is hoping to drive with Lotus next week, was thrilled to have timed 11th fastest in the morning session after taking over Jarno Trulli’s car.
“The grip level is really quite low and there was a lot of standing water, so it was tricky, but I’m pleased with the job that I did, ending up ahead of both of the Williams drivers,” Chandhok said.
His performance followed other encouraging Friday morning outings in Belgium, Italy and Japan. He has driven in eight sessions this year.
“The last few Fridays have been encouraging,” Chandhok said. “It gives me a lot of confidence compared to where I was a few months ago.”