Formula 1 – Narain Karthikeyan Completes HRTs Lineup For 2012

February 3, 2012

Formula 1

Spanish outfit HRT F1 announces that Indian driver, Narain Karthikeyan, will complete the team’s line up for the 2012 season alongside Spanish driver Pedro de la Rosa. These two drivers will contest the 2012 FIA Formula One World Championship for the team, which gets underway on March 16th at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne, Australia.

The Chennai-born driver will thus compete in his second season with the Spanish squad, with whom he made history at last year’s inaugural Indian Grand Prix, being the only Indian driver on the grid. A strong weekend with a great result ensued with his performance garnering international acknowledgement.
The extension of the relationship between Narain Karthikeyan and HRT F1 Team is based on the principle of continuity contributing to the stability and reliability of the team and, at the same time, offering Narain Karthikeyan the necessary confidence to progress. This progression and teamwork will be vital for the growth and establishment of the renewed HRT F1 Team.
The team will return to action next week at the first official preseason tests, which take place in Jerez, where Pedro de la Rosa will take to the wheel. Narain Karthikeyan will join the team for the second tests in Barcelona, which will be held from the 21st to the 24th of February at the Circuit de Catalunya.
Narain Karthikeyan: “It has taken a lot of hard work to make this happen but I am absolutely elated to feature on the 2012 grid with HRT F1 Team. I was pleased with our strong performance at the Indian Grand Prix, in front of my passionate home fans and I look forward to building on this result in 2012. I have been training hard since the end of 2011, ensuring I was ready for the rigours of F1 if an opportunity arose. I am delighted to have signed with HRT F1 Team. With the new management, Pedro, and the team, there is definite potential for progress. We need to understand that F1 is new to India, we hosted our first race only last year which was a resounding success. To build on that momentum, an Indian driver will certainly keep the interest engaged throughout the season. I am proud to secure an opportunity to forge a stronger connection between India and Formula 1 once again”.
Luis Pérez-Sala, Team Principal: “I am pleased to count with Narain for this season, as he will contribute continuity and stability. He is a quick, intuitive and secure driver who met his expectations despite a lack of continuity last year. Of the eight Grands Prix he contested in 2011, he only failed to finish on one occasion and had a great performance in the last race he took part in. I’m sure that the fact that he will continue to work and drive on a regular basis will help him take a step forward this season. And if he advances, so does the team. This is a year in which you could say that the team starts from scratch and everyone’s input will be fundamental”.
NARAIN KARTHIKEYAN – PROFILE

Date of Birth: 14th of January of 1977
Place of Birth: Chennai, India
Nationality: Indian
Height: 168 cm
Weight: 64 kg
Country and place of residence: Coimbatore, India
Starts (F1): 28
Poles (F1): 0
Wins (F1): 0
Best GP finish (F1): 4th  (US GP 2005)
Narain Karthikeyan has always been linked with motorsport. He set himself the target of becoming the first ever Indian F1 driver and so began to race from a very young age. He finished on the podium at his first ever race in Sriperumpudur and was a semi-finalist in the Pilote Elf Competition for Formula Renault cars in 1992. In 1993 he returned to India to compete in Formula Maruti, whilst also competing in Formula Vauxhall Junior in the United Kingdom.
In 1994 he took part in the Formula Ford Zetec Series with Foundation Racing and won the British Formula Ford Winter Series. Two years later, in 1996, he became the first Asian driver to win the Formula Asia International Series. In 1997 he had a good season in British Formula Opel and moved on, one year later, to Formula 3 with Carlin Motorsport Team. He spent two years in this category and reached the podium on five occasions. Narain finished the British Formula 3 Championship in fourth place in the year 2000 and also had good performances at the Korean Super Prix, Spa-Francorchamps and the Macau Grand Prix.
In 2001 Narain finished the Formula Nippon F3000 Championship in the top ten and became the first Indian ever to drive a Formula 1 car when he tested for Jaguar Racing Team at Silverstone. In 2002 he raced in the Formula Nissan World Series with Telefonica World Series and in 2003 he took part in the Superfund World Series where he finished in fourth place. One season later he claimed victories at Magny-Cours and Valencia in the Nissan World Series.
In 2005 he made the step into Formula 1, after having spent 12 seasons in lower categories, when he joined Jordan Grand Prix. He scored five points in his debut season after finishing fourth at the United States Grand Prix. In 2006 and 2007 he was the test driver for Williams F1 and left Formula 1 at the end of that stint with the British outfit, moving onto various different championships such as A1GP where he represented Team India and won two races in 2007. In 2009 he raced for the prestigious Kolles Audi Team at the Le Mans Series and Le Mans 24 hours before becoming the first ever Indian to take part in this legendary event.
In 2010 Narain competed in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in the USA and in the Superleague Formula in Europe, where he only completed half a season for PSV Eindhoven and won one race at Brands Hatch.
In 2011 he joined HRT and began a new chapter in Formula 1 in which he took part in nine races, including the Indian Grand Prix. Narain made history at the Buddh International Circuit when he became the first and only local driver to race at the inaugural F1 Grand Prix in India.
Career summary:
2011 F1: HRT F1 Team
2010 Superleague: PSV Eindhoven (1 win). NASCAR Camping World Truck Series: Starbeast Motorsport, 30th, 963 points (9 out of 25 races)
2009 Le Mans 24h (LMP1): Kolles, 7th. Le Mans Series (LMP1): Kolles, 22nd, 11 points
2008 A1GP: India (2 wins, 1 pole position)
2007 F1 Tests: Williams F1 Team, AT&T Williams. A1GP: India (1 win)
2006 F1 Tests: WilliamsF1 Team. A1GP: India
2005 F1: Jordan Grand Prix, 18th, 5 points
2004 F1 Tests: European Minardi Cosworth. WS Nissan: RC Motorsport, 6th, 100 points (2 wins, 4 podiums, 2 pole positions). FIA GT: Scuderia Verergra, 1 race
2003 WS Nissan: Carlin Motorsport, 4th, 121 points (4 podiums). F3 Macau: Carlin Motorsport
2002 WS Nissan: Tata RC Motorsport, 9th, 51 points (1 podium, 1 pole position). F3 Macau: Carlin Motorsport, DNF
2001 F1 Tests: Jaguar Racing, B&H Jordan Honda. Formula Nippon: excite Team Impul, 15th, 2 points. F3 Korea Super Prix: Carlin Motorsport, 9th
2000 F3 Masters: Stewart Racing, 19th. F3 Macau: Carlin Motorsport, DNF, Pole position. British F3: 4th, 100 points (4 podium). F3 France: 2 races (1 win, 1 podium). F3 Korea Super Prix: Carlin Motorsport, Win, Pole position
1999 F3 Masters: Carlin Motorsport, 13th. F3 Macau: Stewart Racing. British F3: 6th, 104 points (2 poles, 2 wins, 2 podium). F3 Madras GP: 2 races, 3rd (2 wins, 2 podiums). F3 Euro Cup: Carlin Motorsport, DNF. F3 Korea Super Prix: Stewart Racing, DNF
1998 British F3: 12th, 44 points. F3 Macau: Carlin Motorsport, 11th
1997 F Vauxhall: Nemesis Racing, 8th, 43 points (1 win, 2 podiums)
1996 F Asia: Team Meritus, Champion (10 wins, 12 podiums, 12 pole positions)
1995 F Asia
1994 F Ford UK: 13th, 21 points. F Ford UK Winter Series: Champion
1993 F Vauxhall Junior Britain. F Maruti India
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