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Karthikeyan Optimistic Despite Gap

Narain Karthikeyan is optimistic of a strong San Marino Grand Prix tomorrow despite failing to escape the penultimate row of the grid

The Jordan driver wound up 17th, two seconds behind the closest rival and another two ahead of his own teammate Tiago Monteiro.

"The track here at Imola is quite tricky as you need to use the kerbs a lot if you want to make a quick lap," said Karthikeyan. "I have lost a bit of time in the first sector but otherwise I think I did a decent lap.

"We  have  made  some  progress  and  if  we  keep  making  similar  steps,  we  will  improve.  I  am pretty positive for the rest of the weekend and I am looking forward to tomorrow."

Monteiro had a disappointing day after failing to get heat into his tyres during his flying lap, and the Portuguese also paid the price for the lost time in this morning's practice sessions.

Despite the huge gap to his teammate, the rookie was still well clear of the Minardis, who were slowest today.

"I  am  a  bit  disappointed  with  my  lap," he said. "I  made  a  few  mistakes  this  morning  in  both  free practice  sessions  and  I  lost  maybe  40  minutes  of  running  which  would  have  been  very useful. The car felt different with new  tyres and low fuel so I had to get used to it while still pushing.

"Otherwise  I  am  happy  with  the  progress  we  have  made  on  the  car  even  though  I have some catch up to do tomorrow."

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