Barcelona: India's Narain Karthikeyan finished ninth for Hispania Racing Team, clocking a best of one minutes and 28.393 seconds during his 116 laps on the first day of the Formula One pre-season testing session here at the Circuit de Catalunya.
While world champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull topped with a 1:24.374 over 34 laps, the 34-year old Indian ended up ninth among 13 drivers on the unofficial time charts.
Karthikeyan, who returned to F1 after a break of five years, took advantage of the heavy rainfall, which left the track damp in the morning.
With Hispania Racing using their 2010 model, he capitalised on it by trying out their intermediate tyres. And even as the track dried out eventually, he went on to try the medium, soft and supersoft tyres successfully.
"Today was a very productive day for me because I got a lot of laps in. I was able to use various types of Pirelli tyres, the morning was damp so we started with intermediates and as it dried up we moved on to medium, soft and supersoft tyres," said Karthikeyan.