Jordan pinning hopes on wet tyre magic

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Narain Karthikeyan and his Jordan team pinned their hopes on the wet tyres to do the trick for them after a challenging qualifying session.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:48 IST
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Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium):

Narain Karthikeyan and his Jordan team pinned their hopes on the wet tyres to do the trick for them after a challenging qualifying session of the Belgian Grand Prix at the Spa Franchorchamps circuit today. Karthikeyan and teammate Tiago Monteiro both struggled to get the best out of their new cars although heavy rains that marred the free practice sessions had given way to bright skies. The 28-year old Indian finished 20th last, less than two-tenths of a second slower than Monteiro who was 19th. Montoya claims pole McLaren-Mercedes once again dominated with Juan Pablo Montoya and Kimi Raikkonen occupying the front grid. It was McLaren's first 1-2 in qualifying after more than five seasons. Raikkonen was penalised 10 positions last week at Monza for an engine change and had to start 11th despite scoring the fastest time. It was the turn of Renault to suffer an engine change penalty as Giancarlo Fisichella was forced 10 positions down from his original fastest place of third. Renault's championship leader Fernando Alonso of Spain was fourth behind Jarno Trulli in Toyota. Rains forecast With rains forecast for Sunday, the Chennai lad believed the Bridgestone tyres would perform better in the wet conditions. "Considering the fact that I was the first out on the track in qualifying this afternoon, I had a decent lap but unfortunately the limited track time we had yesterday affected us a little bit today," Karthikeyan said. "The circuit conditions were pretty similar to this morning and the balance of the car was better. "Rain is expected for tomorrow's race, so hopefully it could be a good Grand Prix for us." Following yesterday's limited track time due to heavy rain, Jordan Grand Prix drivers had a lot of work to catch up this morning in the last two Free Practice which went according to plans in bright conditions. Monteiro unhappy Monteiro said he was not happy with today's performance. "I'm not really satisfied with my lap time even though I had a relatively clean lap," he said. "The EJ15B clearly has some potential but we definitely need some more running time as yesterday we only did a limited number of laps. "We still have the race ahead of us and I'm looking forward to that, especially as it is supposed to rain tomorrow and we may have chance to do well." (PTI)