New Delhi : Hispania’s Narain Karthikeyan said the cheers from the packed stands at the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) motivated him to equal his season’s best 17th place finish, after starting from the last, at the inaugural Indian Grand Prix here Sunday.
Karthikeyan was running 16th as late as lap 43 and ended up completing the 60 laps faster than team mate Daniel Ricciardo and Team Lotus’ Jarno Trulli.
Karthikeyan said he was particularly pleased with beating Ricciardo, who replaced the Indian as one of Hispania’s permanent drivers since the British Grand Prix.
“I had a great Grand Prix and I really enjoyed myself, it was an amazing experience. To finish 17th in my home Grand Prix is the best I could have expected with the car we have. Beating my team mate and a Team Lotus car on the way makes it all the more satisfying,” said Karthikeyan.
Ricciardo, a Red Bull protege, was quicker than Karthikeyan and Vitantonio Liuzzi in every practice and qualifying session leading to the race.
Karthikeyan said it was great to see the stands brimming with fans and it acted as a motivation.
“As the race progressed, I saw more and more people in the grandstand and the other stands. It was a feeling hard to describe. I felt extremely proud at that time,” he said.
Karthikeyan chose to remain tight-lipped on his future beyond the Indian Grand Prix.
“I don’t know what is in store for me next. I will try my best to have a permanent seat in 2012. But as of now I haven’t thought about anything,” said Karthikeyan, who made a comeback in F1 this season after a gap of five years.