Narain finishes 16th at European GP

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Narain Karthikeyan bounced back from the Monaco disaster to produce a largely problem-free race and finish 16th at the European Grand Prix.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:51 IST
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Narain Karthikeyan bounced back from the Monaco disaster to produce a largely problem-free race and finish 16th at the European Grand Prix here today. Teammate Tiago Monteiro of Portugal finished ahead in the 15th position for a satisfying performance by Team Jordan in an action packed race. Spain's Fernando Alonso scored his fourth win of the season and the fifth for Renault but only after McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen, leading from the start, saw his spectacular drive come to a tragic end when his front right suspension burst under the stress of wearing tyre in the final lap. Nick Heidfeld of Williams-BMW came second while Rubens Barrichello clinched the second podium finish of the season for Ferrari in third place. Strong start Starting 17th and 19th on the grid, Monteiro and Karthikeyan made strong starts, avoided incidents at the first corner and therefore improved their positions. "I had a reasonable start and managed to avoid the chaos in the first corner and stay in front of Jacques Villeneuve for about 10 laps," said Karthikeyan. After the first pit stop, Karthikeyan, who failed to finish at Monaco Grand Prix last week, managed to pass Monteiro and kept a good pace throughout. Unfortunately for him, he made a small mistake near the end, which allowed Monteiro to overtake him. "I had very good in and out laps but unfortunately right after, the leaders had to lap me so I lost nearly about 10 seconds in two or three laps, which allowed Tiago to go ahead of me again after his stop. "I am really happy I have finished here. I knew it was going to be a hard race as it was my first time on this circuit." Monteiro had a good race overall apart from a drive through penalty for not respecting blue flags, which made him lose some precious time. Good race for Jordan Both drivers adopted similar pit-stop strategies, each calling in twice for fuel in the course of the 59-lap race. That both the cars, with plenty of problems in the last couple of races, once again saw the chequered flag made it a satisfying day at office for Jordan. "It was the race in which I had the most fun so far this season as we had a lot of fighting. I managed to keep Villeneuve behind me for a while," Monteiro said. "I kept on pushing as the race is never over until it is over and suddenly I saw a yellow car in front of me, so I pushed even harder and managed to pass Narain again after he made a small mistake. "It was one of the best races for me as I was pushing all the way, working with the balance of the car." The caravan now moves across the Atlantic for the Canadian and US Grands Prix. "Canada and Indianapolis will also be new for me so this will be a bit difficult but we will cope with this," said Karthikeyan. (PTI)

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