With the lack of adequate testing in Formula 1, any track time is now valuable to a driver to prepare for a race, which includes the stint in the practice sessions during a Grand Prix weekend.
Since the Spanish Grand Prix in May, however, Narain Karthikeyan has been made to step aside to provide HRT’s test and reserve drivers to take part in Friday’s first practice on several occasions, handicapping the Indian a bit as a result.
“From Silverstone until up to Hungary, the second practice was wet. So Saturday morning to do one hour and then try to qualify, it's pretty difficult,” Karthikeyan told F1Pulse.com
“And those circuits like Germany, Hungary and Spa I haven't driven since 2005. You know where it goes, that's about it but after seven years it's impossible to remember the bumps and the little tricks and everything,” he pointed out. “It takes a while before you settle down. That has been the biggest problem.”
Karthikeyan has been replaced in first practice in seven of the 14 Grands Prix this season, by either Dani Clos or Ma Qing Hua, and six in succession since the British GP in July.