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Karthikeyan plays down funding rumours

ESPNF1 Staff
May 10, 2012 « Ecclestone wants Montreal improvements | Maldonado wants qualifying focus from Williams »
Narain Karthikeyan: "I don't see a reason for me not to drive this season, at this point in time" © Sutton Images
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Narain Karthikeyan has played down reports that he will not see out the end of the season with HRT.

The Times of India reported on Thursday that he "may" need to find more money to compete in all 20 rounds this year. But Karthikeyan said, as things stand, there is no reason for him to worry about losing his seat.

Asked if it was business as usual for the rest of the year, he said: "That is how it should be and I think if you go back in the season Luis [Perez-Sala, HRT team principal] has said if I am not close enough to the team-mate then they have the chance to ... on the contract it says I have to be within a certain amount, which is okay because I am. I don't see a reason for me not to drive this season, at this point in time."

Karthikeyan added: "Fortunately the Tata Group is always there, but I wouldn't go too much into the Times of India particularly."

He said the fact HRT failed to qualify at the first race in Australia and then opted to miss the in-season test at Mugello had not gone down well in the Indian media.

"What happened in Australia didn't go too well and then we missed the Mugello test, which in India was again in the paper."

HRT decided not to test at Mugello so that it could move the majority of its operation under one roof in Madrid. The team is bringing front and rear wing updates to the car this weekend as well as a tweak to the floor, but Karthikeyan said the new parts were not ready in time for Mugello.

"We'll have to wait and see after Barcelona whether missing the test was really a good thing or not," he said. "The reasons for missing it were obviously moving to the new headquarters, the cars had been out for a long time and they wanted to build properly and so on. We didn't have any parts to test because of delays in production and the resources could be used elsewhere and maybe we could gain some performance. This is all in theory, so we have to see if that works out."

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