• Indian Grand Prix

Karthikeyan proud of home performance

ESPNF1 Staff
October 31, 2011 « Formula One labels India a success | Ecclestone 'very happy' with India »
Narain Karthikeyan was able to race in front of his home crowd for the first time © Getty Images

Narain Karthikeyan was pleased with his performance in the Indian Grand Prix, beating HRT team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in his home race.

Karthikeyan replaced Tonio Liuzzi for the grand prix having lost his seat to Ricciardo earlier this season. While the decision was based on income from sponsors, Karthikeyan delivered an impressive drive to comfortably outpace his team-mate and finish just 0.5s behind Jerome d'Ambrosio's Virgin after a late pit stop, and he said he was just pleased to complete the race distance.

"I had to finish the race and I finished the race," Karthikeyan told the BBC. "I was running pretty competitively; beat my team-mate and a green Lotus I think. I made a very good start, lost out to the Virgin by half a second but nevertheless with what I had I had to finish."

When asked if his performance had sent out a message to HRT team principal Colin Kolles to give him a drive for 2012, Karthikeyan said it isn't the only avenue he is pursuing.

"It is an option, but now the Indians are in a buying spree with Formula One teams so watch and see what happens."

Reflecting on the event itself, Karthikeyan said that it was important for India to try to challenge nearby countries in hosting global events, and that he felt the nation was behind the grand prix.

"I think all our neighbours - China, Malaysia, Singapore and so on - we're competing with them with the economy and so many other things, so having a high profile event like this gets us that boost which is very important these days. There is a lot of disparity and everything, but we are a country of a billion passionate people and we are very happy with what we have and it's fantastic for Formula One to come here and for India to host this event."