Narain Karthikeyan, India's first Formula 1 driver, popularly known as "The Fastest Indian in the World", will make his long awaited and promised comeback to the pinnacle of world motorsport, The Formula 1 World Championship, in 2011, giving Indian motorsport fans a big reason to cheer. The 33 year old is back in Formula 1 after a five year hiatus and is all charged up to compete at the pinnacle of world motorsport.
Narain will make his F1 comeback with the Hispania Racing Team (HRT) as a race driver for the 2011 Formula 1 season and is looking forward to fulfilling his dream of being the Indian driver on the grid of the inaugural Indian Grand Prix. This will be an historic moment for Indian motor sport and an elated Narain said, "I have worked really hard to come back to F1 and it will be a dream come true to race in the first ever Indian Grand Prix in front of my fellow Indians. I hope that they will spur me on with their blessings and good wishes."
Since his last stint in Formula 1, as a race driver for Jordan Grand Prix in 2005, and a test driver for Williams F1 in 2006 & 2007, Narain has raced in A1 GP, the Le Mans Series and NASCAR's Camping World Truck Series in the USA, as well as in the Superleague Formula in Europe, where he won a race at his favourite circuit, Brands Hatch in the UK.
Narain is looking forward to driving for the Hispania Racing Team (HRT), which is all charged up to dramatically improve upon its 2010 performance. For the 2011 season HRT have expanded their own resources, and have established some strong technical partnerships. They will participate with an upgraded version of their 2010 chassis, mated to the legendary Cosworth engine, and a gearbox sourced from the Williams Formula 1 team. It is the extraordinary F1 experience of Williams Grand Prix Engineering and the reliability of their cars that prompted HRT to take this positive step forward to become competitive on the Formula 1 grid.
The Tata Group have played a pivotal role in ensuring Narain's return to a full-time Formula 1 race drive. Narain's inaugural F1 season in 2005 gave a huge boost to the popularity of motorsport in India. With Narain's comeback for the 2011 season and the prospect of having an Indian driver on the grid of the Indian Grand Prix, the interest and fan following in Formula 1 is poised to hit an all-time high.
Narain Karthikeyan: "It's been a while in the making, but I am delighted to be racing again in Formula 1 in 2011. I have always maintained that I have not given up on my desire to return to the top level of motor sport. I am confident that I have the pace, the fitness and the will to succeed in Formula 1. I am extremely grateful to the Tata Group, without whose unwavering support, this comeback would not have been possible. I'm looking forward to racing for HRT, and to working again with Dr. Colin Kolles. We have a long standing and excellent working relationship together."
Dr. Colin Kolles, MD / Team Principal, Hispania Racing: "It is a great pleasure for us to have signed Narain Karthikeyan as our race driver for the 2011 Formula 1 World Championship. I have known Narain for a long time and he can revert to the experiences he gained when he was competing for Jordan Grand Prix and being test and reserve driver for Williams F1. Narain has also been driving in other racing series and running in one of the legendary Audi sports cars in the Le Mans Series. I am sure that his experience and speed will be very useful for the team during the season. We are welcoming Narain to our team and we look forward to working closely with him this year."