Narain Karthikeyan, Williams, 2006

Narain Karthikeyan says he will return to F1 with HRT

2011 F1 seasonPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Narain Karthikeyan, Williams, 2006
Narain Karthikeyan, Williams, 2006

Former F1 driver Narain Karthikeyan claims he will make a comeback with HRT in 2011.

Karthikeyan told Autocar India he will be on the grid in time for the inaugural Indian Grand Prix this year:

I have worked really hard to come back to F1 and it will be a dream come true to race in front of the home crowd in our country?s debut Grand Prix. I hope that the Indian public will spur me on with their blessings and good wishes.
Narain Karthikeyan

Karthikeyan previously raced in F1 with Jordan in 2005. The team was run by current HRT team principal Colin Kolles at the time. Karthikeyan later joined Williams as a reserve driver.

Karthikeyan said on Twitter:

Back in F1 in 2011. Signed a deal to race for HRT. I’ve always maintained that my time in F1 was not over and now making good on that promise.

Huge thanks to my long-time supporters in the Tata Group. Their support has been instrumental.
Narain Karthikeyan

Fellow Indian Karun Chandhok drove for HRT in the first half of 2010.

View the list of 2011 F1 drivers and teams.

Image ?? Williams/LAT

143 comments on “Narain Karthikeyan says he will return to F1 with HRT”

    1. I had the exact same reaction.

      Well.. I am partly to blame for Karthkeyan’s comeback. Last year, after Chandhok was replaced by Yamamoto, I told my friend – “HRT doesn’t care about who is driving the car. As long as they get paid, they would even sign someone as unworthy as Karthikeyan.”

      Sorry to have jinxed it. My sincerest apologies to all F1 fans around the world. I accept your criticism and insults.

      1. The 107% rule will keep Karthikeyan from racing. Whether he is signed for an entire season or just for 1 GP, I really doubt he will make the cut for the Sunday race on any occassion. Karthikeyan was without a doubt one of the worst drivers to ever enter the sport.. he pretty much shares the spotlight with Yuji Ide.

        I’m disappointed that Chandhok didn’t get the drive and Karthikeyan did… I guess we have to thank TATA and their sponsorship money for that.

    1. To be honest, I’m starting to think that my dream of driving an F1 car isn’t over after all. I might be 30, and a bit on the lardy side, but I have an impeccable racing record – in fact, I’ve never lost a race!* I could probably scrape together a few hundred quid too.

      So, Mr Kolles, if you’re watching – I can get a couple of weeks off in July, can I race the HRT at Silverstone?

      *I haven’t entered any either.

        1. Unfortunately even if you win the lottery you won’t be able to drive because FIA won’t give you a super-license. Your hours playing F1 in PlayStation probably doesn’t count as race experience.

    1. probably FOTA or some other organization should put some tougher requirements to be a F1 pilot.. I mean, money is getting away the talent required to succeed in this sport. I’m sure fans would like more battling and less blue flags. The requirements could be in some kind of “neutral” car and track, such as Paul Ricard HTTT in a Toyota car… to set some average time in that track, if not, just stay away from F1!!! I think one of the best things (at least) for this year will be the 107% rule

      1. Wait a minute…

        Does that mean he’ll say goodbye to his NASCAR Truck career. At the beginning of the year he was tweeting about the incredible experience of NASCAR, his team was saying to the effect that they’ll train him to get all the way up to the Sprint Cup in a few years. They were counting on support from Indian fans in the USA. Where’s all this going to end up?

        1. did he say he’ll stay the whole season??
          nobody stays the whole season at hrt!!!

          and i’m pretty sure karun wud nt be able to make it atleast nt at hrt perhaps a FI test driver?? bt what abt Paul di Resta then?

          p.s. in a pvt test session coducted by FI in december last year on simulators narain was joined by none other than Karun Chandhok! and 1 of them was faster by a full second..reports say Karun was quicker and if thats the case, hrt are gearing up to be at the very back again

  1. He won an award for the most popular person in NASCAR for 2010. What is it with these Indian. Drivers being so popular?? Have this guy (i can’t spell his name) and chandhok and formula one will be the worlds most popular sport

    1. Only in the truck series, which has such low of a talent level all it is a bunch of washed up Nascar vets mixed with young guys who will never make it.

  2. Well at least that clears it up. Didn’t know who to put my money on for next years F1 champion. Now Narain is back he’s going to deliver BIGTIME. Formula one 2011 world champion Narain Karthikeyan. Great odds, great bet, don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to make some big bucks fellow punters.

          1. I think Keith would agree with me that one season with Jordan doesn’t give us enough to classify him as the worst driver around. What else could he do with a Jordan.

            He was crash prone, but he was generally quicker than Tiago Monteiro, his team-mate. I know Monteiro is no great talent, but I think most of you are too premature in ruling Narain out. I think we should give him the benefit of a doubt since he hasn’t been in a competitive team long enough in F1 to prove or disprove anything.

            2011 won’t give us a chance to judge Narain’s true performance either. He has been out of F1 for too long so he won’t have much of a chance to get to grips with the car, if there is going to be one, and HRT aren’t going to be high up in the developmental race again. And as the season wears on most of you will be thinking, “Weren’t we right all along?”

            But there hasn’t been and probably never will be a true chance to gauge Narain’s talent. He isn’t PR savvy and seems to have some pride, unlike Karun. But that shouldn’t cloud the judgement.

            True insiders who’ve known both Karun and Narain and seen them come up the ranks actually rate the latter as the fastest, in terms of raw speed. And in F3 he was right up there with Takumo Sato and Anthony Davidson in Carlin as one of the best.

            If you really want to know about Narain’s talent you need to ask Trevor Carlin who ran him in British F3 and World Series. And you can’t blame Colin Kolles for taking in Narain as Kolles truly knows Narain’s capabilities from his Jordan and Le Mans Series outings with the Kolles Audi R10 TDI in 2009.

            He hasn’t had sit-up-and-take-notice results but stats don’t give the whole picture. It’s too much to classify him as an also-ran. Comparing him to Deletraz and Yamamoto…you guys are way off the mark.

            He may not be impressive this year. But if so it wouldn’t be because he isn’t good enough, but because he has been away for too long.

  3. Is Kolles bringing all his previous drivers ‘back’
    Fees applicable.
    Mind you would you really want to pay to drive that car?
    Someone said ‘it’s still a F1 car and it’s better than any other car on the road…well, it’s not racing ‘on the road’ is it?, it’s on a track with far superior F1 cars…I rest my case…

    1. In all seriousness though… does he bring enough sponsorship to leave the seat open for either Senna or Klien? Or will they have to draft in Yamamoto?

      I think this means the end of Chandhok at HRT, can’t see them fielding two Indians.

  4. Just another journeyman F1 driver with a large bank account and nothing else to spend his earnings on.

    I guess it gives HRT the chance of selling tons of merchandise for the Indian GP when they have 2 Indian drivers – although I highly doubt either will be the favoured choice that far into the season….

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