Karthikeyan Hit by Gearbox Problems

Narain Karthikeyan was left ruing gearbox problems on Friday as he found himself outpaced by both teammate Tiago Monteiro and third driver Nicolas Kiesa in Friday practice for the Turkish Grand Prix

Karthikeyan Hit by Gearbox Problems

The Indian failed to get a final run on new tyres in the second session because of the technical dramas, as he wound up a lowly 24th overall.

"The track was a bit dusty in the first session but it got much better in the second one," he said. "It is a pity I had a gearbox problem in the afternoon, as I was quite quick in the morning.  The circuit is quite technical to learn but I have really enjoyed driving here."

Karthikeyan's woes were of no concern to Monteiro, who was 20th fastest in both practice sessions as he worked on merely fine-tuning the performance of his Jordan EJ15.

"It was a good first day," said the Portuguese driver. " It is always exciting to go to a new track.  I was really looking forward to driving here. As I expected I really enjoyed it.

"The layout in general is great and there are some really fast corners. The car had the right balance from the start so we just had to fine-tune the set-up. The tire decision is not easy but I am sure we will make the right choice."

Although Kiesa was delighted to have outpaced Karthikeyan, he admitted that his form had suffered because of neck problems encountered on the anti-clockwise track.

"I had a good day today," he explained. "This morning was a bit challenging, as the circuit is quite difficult to learn and there are many blind corners, but I have learnt the layout faster than I expected. After five or six laps I could start to push. 

"We have had two good practice sessions.  I had a small problem in the afternoon so I lost some 20 minutes.  However, to be honest, I could not have done much with the time as I was struggling again with my neck. 

"This is an anti-clockwise circuit and even the race drivers, who have done more than 20 000km this year, were having a hard time too. Since I started with Jordan in Hockenheim, I have done only 350km so I expected it to be really tough."

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