Narain Karthikeyan has played down reports about Pirelli’s 2011 tyres, and also the driveability of the HRT car.
The Indian, who has been signed by the struggling Spanish team for 2011, had not driven a F1 car since 2007 when he was a test driver with Williams.
He drove Hispania’s 2010 car at Valencia recently, and this week he is back in action for some filming with Pirelli at Monza.
“It was said that the HRT car was very difficult to drive,” he said in an interview with Auto Motor und Sport.
“I wouldn’t say it’s easy, but it’s not a disaster either,” said the 34-year-old.
Moreover, with Pirelli replacing F1’s departed long-time supplier Bridgestone this year, Karthikeyan did not echo the complaints about the handling and severe degradation of the 2011 tyre.
“I can hardly compare them with the Bridgestones I was on four years ago,” he said. “I thought it wasn’t so bad.
“The wear was consistent and the grip was good,” insisted Karthikeyan.
“I’m starting all over again, so the issues of the others touches me less. I take what I have and try to make the best of it,” he said.
Karthikeyan said he already knows HRT quite well, as many of the staff were with Colin Kolles’ Audi Le Mans team in 2009.
“All the mechanics are familiar faces,” he said. “And I’ve known Colin since 1999 when I drove F3 in England.”
Karthikeyan insisted he is not worried about becoming the next victim of HRT’s apparent policy of constantly rotating its driver lineup.
“The plan is to contest all the grands prix. It’s a fixed contract,” he revealed.
© RIF | GMM