Karthikeyan signs with HRT for 2011
After many months of negotiations and discussions with several Formula 1 teams, Narain Karthikeyan and his management have finally signed a contract with the Hispania Racing team, which will see Karthikeyan race for the team in 2011. Karthikeyan first appeared in Formula 1 in 2005 as a driver for Jordan Grand Prix, and was then a test driver for Williams F1 in 2006 & 2007. Speaking about the recent signing Narain Karthikeyan said: “It’s been a while in the making, but I am extremely happy 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 pinnacle of world motorsport. I am confident that I still have the pace, the fitness and the will to succeed in Formula 1. I’m looking forward to racing for Hispania Racing, and to working again with Dr. Colin Kolles. We have a long standing and excellent working relationship together. I’m also looking forward to racing at the first ever Indian Grand Prix in October, and I hope that the Indian public will spur me on with their blessings and good wishes.” Team Principal at Hispania Racing, Colin Kolles added: “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.” Whilst away from Formula One Karthikeyan has also continued to race competitively at some of the highest levels of international motorsport. From 2007 until 2009, he was the lead driver for A1 Team India in A1GP, where he won two races and achieved one pole position, becoming the first Indian ever to win a World Championship race. Then in 2009, the Indian driver raced for the Kolles Audi Team in the Le Mans Series and the Le Mans 24-Hour race, and again made another record by becoming the first ever Indian to race in the legendary event. In 2010 Karthikeyan went to the USA and raced in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, as well as in the Superleague Formula in Europe, where he won a race at his favourite circuit, Brands Hatch in the UK. His win there has extended his already unique record at that circuit, where he is the only driver to win a race in every series in which he has ever raced. After a poor debut season in F1, which saw the HRT cars lining up on the back row of the grid for the most part of 2010, the Spanish team have been working hard to expand their own resources, and have established strong technical partnerships, to ensure they have a much improved and more competitive package for 2011. Plus, with the proven reliability of the Cosworth engine, the team is confident that they have taken a positive step forward in their engineering solutions towards becoming more competitive on the Formula 1 grid.