Narain Karthikeyan says he will return to F1 with HRT

2011 F1 season

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

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

  1. Faraz said on 6th January 2011, 19:25

    In other news Susan Boyle Has been given a seat in Red Bull Racing Sebastien Vettel has been deemed to be losing his speed she will be partnered by Anne Widdecomb F1 is going in a new direction waaaheeeey

  2. Tom L. (@tom-l) said on 6th January 2011, 19:52

    So now HRT, the Spanish team, have two Indians on their books… in other news, Force India sign Alonso and Alguersuari for 2012!

  3. LucaBadoerFan (@lucabadoerfan) said on 6th January 2011, 20:02

    well, hrt evidently need money, and karain clearly has ‘sponsorship’. but for goodness sake, surely karun could of received sponsorship instead? i really hope klien’s the second driver – was really happy for him, regarding his good showing at singapore.

    i would of said de la rosa for second driver, but he apparently doesn’t see them as a serious racing outfit (can you blame him?), so will probably go back to mclaren as a simula … test driver. interestingly, hamilton apparently really wants to have pedro back at mclaren as a test driver. dunno what’s gonna happen to bruno senna.

    • Tom L. (@tom-l) said on 10th January 2011, 12:22

      It is interesting that the year they didn’t have Pedro, their usual excellent development rate wasn’t up to its usual standard. I wonder if the absence of Pedro might have had an effect on that?

  4. Daniel said on 6th January 2011, 20:39

    He must be a pay driver must be!!!!

    • Airtone said on 6th January 2011, 20:56

      F1 is turning into a joke! OK there were already pay drivers in the past, but now it looks like money does prevail over talent. No place for Hulkenberg and Senna but well for Karthikeyan and Petrov.

      • Airtone,

        Your comments are right on the button.

        Where is the incentive for some young Kart driver to be an F1 driver?

        This is all down to that little S*** of a stunted dwarf who never has enough money, power and control.

        • Airtone said on 7th January 2011, 6:36


          Indeed! The best thing that can now happen for F1 is Bernie to retire…

          • PT (@pt) said on 7th January 2011, 18:28


            You said it. Can we, as fans, garner enough support to say , “We don’t want a Bernie-owned motor racing championship anymore?”

            This is the right time to think about it.

  5. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 6th January 2011, 21:05

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

    Two words…”KA-CHING”!

  6. US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 6th January 2011, 21:10

    Where’s everyone getting this idea that they have 2 Indian drivers? So far Karthikeyan is the only driver we know of, and I can’t imagine Senna or Chandhok returning to drive for Kolles again. Maybe Sack’s o’ Moneyoto will be the 2nd driver…

  7. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 6th January 2011, 21:29

    Shot through the foot,
    And you’re too blame;
    Darling you give the sport
    A bad name.

  8. Joe Szpara said on 6th January 2011, 21:38

    Frank Montagny Please :)

  9. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 6th January 2011, 21:43

    Okay, some actual throughts on it: it’s taken me completely by suprrised. I never would have picked Karthikeyan to return to the sport, least of all after such a long absence. It reeks of money (though if I were Tata and I wanted to make sure an Indian driver raced in the Indian Grand Prix, I woul have done a deal to buy the Force India seat for one race), and speaks to Hispania’s sitution more than anything else. They’ve been in the sport long enough and committed enough mistakes that they should know when they’re shooting themselves in the foot by now.

    I can’t see this as ending anything but badly.

    • Dave Blanc said on 6th January 2011, 23:22

      Agree – this will end badly.

      Call me naive and a dreamer, but wouldn’t you want to pick the creme de la creme of talent coming through the lower ranks. Tie them into a contract that allows a big team to buy them out for some serious cash and you get the best of both worlds – an extra second per lap in speed and a nice pay out at the end of the season. I understand the economics of taking a “paid” driver but this guy will be atleast a second off the pace – how much will be spent on R&D trying to get the car itself to go a second quicker?

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 7th January 2011, 6:36

        It is really looking like the perfect entry to top the F1rejects list. As HRT probably did not have the money even to develop a decent incorporation of the Williams back end into their 2010 car, now TATA will be paying for that, so there will be a car to drive.

        Very much 80′ fun with andrea modi, forti, Eurobrun etc. Good thing Ned remembered them to us yesterday, we will be reliving some of that in the months to come.

    • Rooney said on 7th January 2011, 5:38

      Tata group wont be able to buy a Force India seat. Vijay Mallya is rich enough to give the seat to a genuinely fast driver, rather than slowpokes when it comes to the level of formula 1.

  10. Master firelee (@master-firelee) said on 6th January 2011, 21:44

    has anyone taken antony davidson into consideration for any of the teams left he said that he really wants to get back in to an f1 car again for any team, if i heard correctly.

  11. James_mc (@james_mc) said on 6th January 2011, 21:46

    He has a good helmet :-)

  12. The Last Pope (@the-last-pope) said on 6th January 2011, 21:56

    Seriously now, Karthvader(sp?) and Yamamoto has to be the worst driver lineup for any team in recent times. Just Terrible.

  13. Great, A donkey going to race a mule, thought I’d never see that day. Thank god for the 107% rule.

  14. Faraz said on 6th January 2011, 23:22

    yuji ide please and Kazuki Nakajima and Piquet jnr and Bourdais, Scott speed also a bit of Luca Badoer bring em all back who cares about Hamiltons Alonsos Vettels and Kubicas and webbers bring the golden oldies back woo hoo.

  15. George said on 6th January 2011, 23:27

    Davide Valsecchi looks very promising:
    1. he’s 23yr old italian
    2. won 2009/10 gp2 aisia series
    3. finished 8th in championship in gp2 last year

    HRT are team to beat if they get this guy as well!

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