Karthikeyan off to a good start

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/N/Narainkarthikeyan.jpg' class='caption'> Narain Karthikeyan completed 33 laps during the course of the first and second practice in the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:49 IST
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Sao Paulo:

Narain Karthikeyan completed 33 laps during the course of the first and second practice in the Brazilian Grand Prix, the 17th round of the FIA Formula One World Championship, at Interlagos here. Karthikeyan, driving the EJ15B/01, viewed his practice rounds yesterday in dusty and dry conditions as a "good start" to the weekend. "Thirty-three laps is quite a good way to start the week-end and I would call this day a positive day," said the Indian. Narain finishes 19th Karthikeyan completed 14 laps to finish 19th in the first free practice with a timing of 1:16.230 while in the second he completed 19 laps to finish 24th (1:15.187) and last. He said the track was dusty in the morning and was lacking in grip. "As usual, it improved a little bit in the afternoon but it cannot show in my times. "In the afternoon practice session, I got caught in traffic with Pizzonia in front of me on my flying lap. So my last sector was a bit slow and the time was out of my control," he said. His Jordan teammate Tiago Monteiro completed 37 laps. Karthikyean said although the team had already decided on the tyres to be used in the competition tomorrow, it would be discussed further with their engineers. "We have worked on the tyre choice. I am almost decided, although we will discuss it more thoroughly with the engineers in our meetings. The set-up will need to allow for the bumpy surface. There were not too many vibrations", Karthikeyan said. "But I am happy with the handling required for the Interlagos track. We need to ride well over the bumps." However, he conceded that in the end everything would boil down to the weather. "At the end, the weather will be the key. We do not know what we can expect this year in Brazil, if the weather will be warm, cool or wet. Meanwhile, with only three races to go, including this race, the battle for the Formula One World Drivers and for the Constructors Championship could be settled here. Fernando Alonso has scored 111 points and the Finn Kimi Raikkonen (West McLaren Mercedes) has 86 points. Alonso leads Mild Seven Renault's Alonso has scored six wins this season with a total of twelve podiums and three consecutives second places in the last three races. West McLaren Mercedes with Austrian Alexander Wurz led the free practice in the morning . In the afternoon session, Juan Pablo Montoya was quickest for part of the session when on the last lap, but his team-mate Wurz went quicker with 1.12.083 with Ricardo Zonta (Panasonic Toyota) in third and Felipe Massa (Sauber Petronas) who had not driven in the morning, fourth. In the afternoon, at the start of the session, Christian Klien (Red Bull Racing) had a spectacular accident: He went off at turn 9, but did not hurt himself in the accident. However, he destroyed his car completely. (PTI)

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