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Karthikeyan Keeping his Options Open

India's Narain Karthikeyan has raised the possibility he might leave Jordan for a testing role with a bigger Formula One team next year

However, he says his main aim was to keep on racing after becoming his country's first Grand Prix driver.

"We are speaking obviously to some people and this (team) is an option as well," Karthikeyan said at the Turkish Grand Prix on Saturday.

"We have to see how it all comes out and what happens. I'd be happy to race somewhere and at the moment there are not many race seats.

"I have to see which is good for my career, whether to stay here or whether to get a good test driving seat somewhere," added the Chennai driver.

"I'm keeping all the options open, to be honest. I believe I can drive pretty well and also India is a very marketable place.

"The objective is to be in Formula One for a number of years. I have gained experience this year and hopefully can use it better next year."

Name Change

Toyota-powered Jordan, owned by Russian-born Canadian billionaire Alex Shnaider, are changing their name to Midland F1 in 2006.

The team, who have Portugal's Tiago Monteiro partnering Karthikeyan this year, are talking to several drivers and have approached BAR's British tester Anthony Davidson.

Karthikeyan has endured his share of bad luck, no more so than in Istanbul where he suffered two engine failures on Saturday that sent him to the back of the starting grid. He was also sidelined by a gearbox problem.

Over two days of practice, the Indian has completed a mere 20 laps at a circuit that represents a step into the unknown for all the drivers.

He said he liked the circuit, however. He also shrugged off a suggestion from recently appointed team sporting director Johnny Herbert that he should calm down.

"He's been here for only the last race so that's his opinion," said Karthikeyan, who refused to change his style. "I did a very good race in Hungary, I think, compared to my teammate and the Minardi cars.

"I have become a lot calmer and am driving within myself."

 

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