Silverstone: HRT driver Narain Karthikeyan is eying an improved qualifying performance at the Formula One British Grand Prix to be held here over the weekend.
Despite a troubled start to the season in Australia in March, Karthikeyan has shown a consistent progression in terms of race results, including a 15th place finish at the incident-filled Monaco Grand Prix.
However, the Indian has admittedly lagged behind in terms of qualifying, but concedes that he now understands the Pirelli tyres better, particularly in terms of getting the best one-lap performance out of them.
"I have not been able to do the best in qualifying on fresh tyres and low fuel, but the race pace remained competitive. At Valencia though, we tried a different strategy in terms of number of runs, after we looked at the warm-up data of different compounds through the season so far and we were much closer," said Karthikeyan.
Like most drivers, Silverstone is a track that Karthikeyan relishes, having raced there in junior formulae as well as F1.
"It's a fantastic layout - the classic bits - Copse, Maggots, Becketts and Chapel are an extremely rewarding sequence of corners when you get them right.
"I don't know the new slow-speed sections but it shouldn't take long to get into a rhythm," he said.
Track time will be at a premium for Karthikeyan as he will sit out the first free practice session with HRT reserve Dani Clos taking the wheel for the 90 minute session.
"Yes, we'll effectively have 90 minutes less to work with through the weekend, but we'll have to just deal with it. Plus there is rain expected, so we'll see how it goes.
"If it rains on race day it may give us a chance to do something different, because otherwise it is one of the difficult tracks for our car given the high aero demands," he concluded.