Super Formula: Penalty ends points chance for Karthikeyan at Suzuka
The final round in the 2018 Super Formula series at Suzuka started with a 13th place in the practice session for TCS Nakajima Racing Honda's Narain Karthikeyan in the #64 car while teammate Takuya Izawa was sixth.
The qualifying saw a good run from Karthikeyan as he managed to get in the Top 8 in Q3 but an off on his quick lap in the final session meant he was only eighth for the race with Izawa only 16th as Team Mugen Honda's Naoki Yamamoto took pole.
It started off well for Karthikeyan in the final race of the 2018 season as the Indian gained two places to six in his opening stint on the soft compound. The former Formula 1 driver ran well and had track position as well until his pit stop.
It was a normal stop to change to medium compound and he came out in 12th position. However, he was then handed a drive through penalty by the stewards for speeding in the pitlane while coming in for his stop.
This ended any chance for him to score points as he rejoined the track last, finishing 17th with teammate Izawa just ahead of him in 16th. At the front though, Yamamoto took the race win and also the title by one point over Kondo Racing Toyota's Nick Cassidy.
The Kiwi fought valiantly but could only manage second - just 0.654s behind Yamamoto, who claimed his second Super Formula title after 2013. Cassidy's teammate Kenta Yamashita completed the podium position.
At the end of yet another season, Karthikeyan finished 15th with four points with his team ending up eighth in the teams' standings with eight points which was headed by Konda Racing from Team Mugen.