Narain Karthikeyan, Williams, 2007

HRT confirm Karthikeyan in team for 2011

2011 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Narain Karthikeyan, Williams, 2007
Narain Karthikeyan, Williams, 2007

HRT has confirmed Narain Karthikeyan will drive for the team in 2011.

Team principal Colin Kolles said:

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.
Colin Kolles

Karthikeyan added:

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.
Narian Karthikeyan

View the list of 2011 F1 drivers and teams.

Image ?? Williams/LAT

128 comments on “HRT confirm Karthikeyan in team for 2011”

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  1. He’s looking forward to the Indian GP, he will probably be replaced by someone like Ralph Firman! Why is it that only bad drivers bring sponsorship because thats clearly the only thing HRT is looking for.

    Does noone else bring any sponsorship, someone good?

    1. Well it is said that Di Grassi has pretty solid funding and Duchman Van der Garde is supposed to have an interesting bag of money speaking for him, LOL.

      With HRT, they are probably still collecting enough to get a car out at all before the season gets going. So actually them signing a driver with a good “commercial package” is very hopefull. Lets just hope it does not end like USF1 did last year after signing Lopez with Argentinian money.

      Still it might be some fun watching Karthikeyan again turning a wheel in F1.

      1. Van der Garde gave up on the idea to drive F1 next year and is focussing on GP2. He signed again for Barwa Addax. He just needs to become champion to have his chances upped!

        1. So next year, after he wins (if he wins) GP2 he will be the premier candidate for the HRT drive, LOL great prospect.

          1. Time may come when we will pay 1000$ and will get a lap in HRT car….

            I may get a job at HRT for this idea. lol

      2. jimscreechy (@)
        7th January 2011, 11:05

        Personally I don’t think HRT will even make the grid with a new car. I bet they will have last years care on the 2011 grid, and I dont’ think they will make it to the end of the season.

      3. It won’t be another USF1, because in a worst case scenario HRT can just run last year’s car with some minor updates to comply with the 2011 specs. Of course I suppose it’s possible that they won’t even accomplish that…

        1. I agree, They remind me very much of Minardi, Which is one reason I can’t understand why people don’t like them. I’m mean sure, they are as slow as… a budgie. But at least they are giving it a shot. I mean, Toyota amongst others pulled out when things got slightly harder, So if HRT thought like them, they wouldn’t even attempt to survive next year.

          1. I can totally understand Kolles picking Narian, He has money, which for them is a necessity. He also has experience (even if it’s of going slowly), something that is incredibly hard to find.

        2. If they do manage to accomplish that surely the 107% rule will reduce them to nothing more than quali at each race… which will lead to sponsors leaving and a car sat in a garage going nowhere.

          If they really do have a major sponsor to reveal I hope to god that they pay the cash to Toyota to use the TF110 for this season

    2. Why should we have cheap pay drivers. I’m an Indian, but I firmly believe that he had his fair shot at F1 and failed. He was thrashed by Taigo Montiero. Noob does not deserve drive. Anyone else agree??

      1. I disagree. In races that both of them finished, Monteiro was ahead 7-6. And usually the lower placed driver was only one or two places back. Yes, Monteiro did better over the course of the season, but Narain was faster from the get go. In the end there wasn’t too much between them.

    3. Good Drivers want to be paid… Apu Karthikeyan doesn’t (doesn’t he look like Apu? Chandook doesn’t…So that will be fun…Let’s get Moe in too, he could sell his bar…

      1. Or Monty Burns, I’m sure he has the cash. He may need some fitness training, but he has the cash for that too….

        1. How about Sylvester Stallone? He may be old but he has the money and also did some training when filming “Driven”, that should be enough to be race fit.

          1. Or Schwarzneger, while we’re on the subject. If I saw Arnie coming up in my rear mirrors I’d get out of the way.

  2. I thought his days in F1 was over.. He’s back!? Hmmmm Do you think he can still drive? To the wall? :)

    1. He can literally drive the wheels off that HRT

      1. dyslexicbunny
        7th January 2011, 19:31

        But that’s already been done this past season Tod. He’s gotta do something new. Rear wing fly away? Transmission falls out?

      2. Between Buemi and Rosberg, They have got that down pretty well already…

        1. Let’s not forget Kubica! :P

    2. After this, HRT would be better with Badoer. Looooooooots more experience and despite no sponsorship drove two years ago, after all the 2009 regulations, and could develop the car.

  3. I’m sorry to say this but there goes another seat to a bad driver, while Nick Heidfeld and Nico Hulkenberg don’t have drives for next year…

    1. Heidfeld and Hulkenberg wouldn’t want to drive for HRT – Hulkenberg needs a midfield team (ie: Force India) to further impress. Heidfeld would only take a top drive, which, we all know, won’t happen now.

      Although I agree with your sentiments, a shame they are left on the sidelines, but if this pay driver money is keeping the team afloat, then I’d rather that than only 11 teams…

      1. I agree with you but this is the last of this trend of pay drivers and I don’t like it at all . It just adds to the frustration .

        1. It is very frustrating when you have drivers of the calibre of Heidfeld and Hulkenberg sitting on the side, but if they are necessary, then they have to do it…

    2. I’m sorry to say this but there goes another seat to a bad driver, while Nick Heidfeld and Nico Hulkenberg don’t have drives for next year…

      If Heidfeld and Hulkenberg don’t have drives, then that’s their own stupid fault. Heidfeld had his heart set on a Mercedes drive, and didn’t both speaking to anyone until after Schumacher was confirmed there, leaving him with no options. He might have made a comeback with Sauber, but he admitted to struggling with the heavy cars. He’s only got a season in him at the most – he can’t race forever – so it’s probably better to quit with his dignity intact.

      As for Hulkenberg, he was offered a seat at Hispania, and decided not to taken it. Instead, he’s tryig to get a drive at either Force India or Toro Rosso – the only teams left with any (official) vacancies, and both of which have close relationships with all their drivers. He’s the architect of his own destruction.

      1. Slightly harsh, but to some extents I agree, Heidfeld felt he had done enough to prove himself in midfield teams, so set his sights on top team or bust. In the end it came to bust. He just isn’t interested in driving at the back anymore, which is understandable.

        Hulkenberg will get more from a third driver role at Force India than a race driver at HRT – think Hakkinen at McLaren 1993.

        1. Unfortunately the new in-season testing ban means Hulkenberg won’t see too much action behind the wheel as a test driver. It’s a shame really. He could do brilliantly after a period of apprenticeship at a top team, like Massa in ’05.

          1. Except that Force India was the team that gave the most time behind the wheel to their 3rd driver, so as far as test/reserve driver seats go, Force India is probably the one to land.

          2. True, but I don’t know how much good all those free practice sessions did for Paul di Resta, career-wise. If Force India give di Resta a race seat this year, I’ll agree with you.

      2. Soumya Banerjee
        7th January 2011, 12:54

        Heidfeld talented? Wow how many more chances does he have to be given? He is simply not fast enough,even if he manages to take his car to the finish line usually. And he doesnt have age on his side either.
        As for Hulkenberg,it is a shame. This pay driver trend is making me turn away from F1. I hope no more nasty surprises are in store.

        1. I disagree, I think he has acheived everything asked of him at every team. Finishes nearly every race, beaten nearly every team-mate!

          1. People keep arguing about Heidfeld vs Kubica, So I think that says a lot for how good Heidfeld is.

  4. Now everyone will have to remember how to say and pronounce his name again, for all of what will end up being about 4 races. And for some reason he seems to think that just because he has a seat at HRT in January dosen’t mean he’ll have a seat at HRT come Sunday, 30th October. Unless Bernie’s had a word.

    1. Irritaiting that we loose Chandock for this wally,I’m suprised more companies haven’t come to Chandocks support considering his popularity.

      1. From what Peter Windsor says, Chandhok is still in the best position to get 3rd driver role at Team Lotus:

        … that India’s other leading driver, Karun Chandhok, is on the verge of agreeing a third driver deal with Tony Fernandes’ Lotus Racing – a contract that would include two races appearances in 2011 (at the Indian Grand Prix and also at the preceding Korean GP).

        Very possibly a more interesting postion to be in and he might end up driving just as much miles as Narain (car break downs in FP and failing to make the 107%, and all)

        1. Here is a link, his piece sounds like it might be based on solid information

          1. The Chandhok quotes in this Autosport article would seem to be in line with Windsor’s article. Hope that happens, it would be great to see him on the grid at the inaugural Indian GP, with potential for a 2012 seat full time.


  5. it’s such a shame that sponsorship money is more important to the teams than talent.

    1. Whats a bigger shame is the lack of knowledge on the part of these corporates. They should do a little research, or hire people who are good at allocating sponsorship funds. Karthikeyan’s career is dead, while Chandhok, a marginally more promising driver, has just begun his career in F1.

      But anyone who is familiar with the way TATA works, will know that their ignorance in this matter comes as no surprise.

      1. Oh, and you’re familiar with how Tata works?

        Seriously, if you are I’d like to know. Not being sarcastic here.

        1. Apparently there are two factions in India when it comes to motor racing, one supported Karthikeyan and the other Chandhok. So I’m not too surprised they passed over Chandhok, it was probably for political reasons.

        2. Yes. I was working for TCS (Tata Consultancy services) for a year. I really do not want to get into the details of how that organisation is running.

  6. HounslowBusGarage
    7th January 2011, 9:03

    I just had to check his age again. He’s 33 already. Am I right in thinking that he hasn’t actually raced F1 since 2005?
    He must have brought a mighty big cheque with him.

    1. Yep, 2005 with Jordan – opposite Tiago Monteiro. The only thing I remember of the two, was that it was Monteiro that seized the opportunity of a third place when it was gifted in America, not Narain.

      1. and Monteiro finished every race that season and also had one more points finish than *current HRT driver whose name I won’t bother trying to spell*

        1. Every race? Wow! I knew it was a lot, I thought it was more like all bar 1! That’s very impressive though, wish he was given another chance!

          1. It was all bar one, Tiago retired in Brazil.

          2. Cheers David, I feel like I just won a quiz…

          3. He was given another chance, sort of. Monteiro drove for Midland in ’06. A bad place to be for sure, but it was one step above Super Aguri with the modified ’02 Arrows chassis!

  7. I can’t help but think that the Indian GP will be bringing the team massive sponsorship because of Karthikeyan.

    Personally, as nice a chap as i’m sure he is, I don’t think he’s the right choice for the team. At least keeping Yamamoto (I know he’s useless!) would have given the illusion of stability, but, as others have alluded to, it looks nothing more than a round-a-bout now!

    1. Given how much Sakon was supposedly paying, I doubt he could afford another season…

  8. I’ll repeat my pondering from yesterday (comment of the day no less ;) ) about the identity of his team-mate.

    My guess is another pay driver…

    1. Ricardo Rosset!!

      1. Pedro Lamy!

  9. I never thought I would say it about any team, but I wish HRT would just fold and go away. At least Lotus carried themselves well and have a clear target and look like their on the right track. Virgin are trying something different with the CFD, where as HRT are just a joke

    1. Agree. Stefan GP should have got that last entry instead of HRT

      1. Stefan GP were not a serious outfit, they were just as much a game of smoke and mirrors as USF1, though you have to give whoever did their PR points for making everyone thing they were serious.

    2. I’d like to see you take over a team at the 11th hour, inheriting a terrible car, no facilities, two complete rookies with little or no budget and still mange to complete all the races and compete the next year.

      I suspect the way your thinking works, is that your favourite driver is the one who is winning.

      1. I think the point that Adam is trying to make, is that teams started at the last minute, with a terrible car, no facilities, two complete rookies and no budget, do not deserve to be in the sport… or are a ‘joke’. He has a very valid point.

        1. explain “deserve”.

          Personally, I like the underdog to be given a fair crack.

          1. I actually think he said that while the three teams have started with a similar hand, HRT have not managed to end up with a convincing case that their approach / goal / work / results is on par with the others.

  10. Hindu’s Ride Tata?

    1. Hindu is a word used to denote people of a parcticular religion called hinduism. Just like “christians”, “muslims”…etc. It is not a nationality.
      Country: India
      Nationality: Indian
      Language: Hindi (nothing related to “hindu”, it just happens to be what it is called)
      Capital: New Delhi

      These are the correct terms.

      1. About 40% of Indians woud say Hindi is their first language. English is the second official language. Languages such as Bengali, Kashmiri and Punjabi (and many more) are official languages in the states of India aswell.

      2. Just to be sure: no offence meant.

        If Christijan Albers signed, I would call them Hose Riding Turds, or Holland Rampen Team (Ramp = disaster). And Holland is just part of my country, which is called the Netherlands, but it’s just known that way.

        And yes, it was a lame joke…

        1. Nice ones with Albers, what about Holland Rings Trouble?

          By the way i just had a flash of brilliance, what if Tony Fernandes would rename his team “Golden Tulip” and paint the cars Green with gold.
          The name should be available cheaply, after all the hotel chain went bust a couple of years ago and all of us would know which flower he ment.

  11. So, with Tata sponsorship, does that mean that Hispania’s full name is now (wait for it!) …


    Read into that what you will …

    1. Brilliant! Very impressive! You should do more!

      1. Very nice :)

    2. Wow, looks like HRT is thriving!

      LOL, nice one Ajokay.

    3. So that’s where The Stig went…

    4. dyslexicbunny
      7th January 2011, 19:37

      Nice work ajokay. Looks great.

    5. That cracks me up! Well done.

    6. ithink it would be more realistic if it was just the shed

  12. Shumacher is the most succesfull driver in history, 3 years out of F1 and he isn’t that good (yet). But Karthikeyan 6 years out of F1 hmmmmm…

    1. Haha very good point Nixon, That about sums the whole thing up!!

      1. I guess they have to change the 107% rule to a 170% rule to make sure Karthikeyan gets to race.

        1. I guess they have to change the 107% rule to a 170% rule


  13. Karthikeyan must be bringing with him full bag of money. Didn’t HRT find a younger driver with money? He is quite old and doesn’t have much experience like drivers like Pedro de la Rosa and Nick Heidfeld, which still doesn’t have a seat in F1. Now I lost hope that someday my compatriot Kazim Vasiliauskas will drive in F1, because I don’t think he will ever have so much money like these talentless guys.

  14. A Black Hole would suck less!!!!!!

    1. Oh snap!

    2. Black holes, unlike their common image, do not act as “cosmic vacuum cleaners” any more than other stars. The collapse of a star into a black hole is an explosive process, which means, according to Mass–energy equivalence, that the resulting black hole would be of lower mass than its parent object, and actually have a weaker gravitational pull.

  15. Since nobody else said it I will. He got this ride based on his NASCAR stuff from 2010. Now no I’m not a NASCAR fan trying to start trouble I’m serious, he won the 2010 NASCAR Truck Series “Most Popular Driver Award” and it was reported that like 98% of the votes for him originated out of India. There is no doubt in my mind that he used that data of that many people from his home country voting for him combined with the fact that there will be a GP there this year to somehow convince a sponsor step-up and buy him an F1 ride for next year.

    1. It really puts a big giant hole in Bernie’s wish that countries were run more like businesses and F1 being run so is a good thing. Because this is exactly business thinking. Take a look at McDonald’s, they’re never going to produce the finest food so they have seasonal gimmicks or meals that have movie themes to entice people to buy their stuff. Same thing here: having a good driver will do sod all for HRT, so they’re getting a cash cow.

    2. Actually James Allen has picked up on that as well. He even make a nice cheeky comment about that:

      To the best of my knowledge he’s the first driver ever to go from that series to F1 the following year, although Nelson Piquet Jr made the opposite move recently.

      It seems Narain has been considered in 2010 as well, but decided against it to see weather the team would actually survive:

      “I’ve been in discussion with HRT for a long time. Originally we had discussed the possibility of me driving for them in 2010, but I felt that it was not the opportunity I was looking for at that time, as the team was new in F1, and still an unproven one.”

      1. team was new in F1, and still an unproven one.

        …and somehow they’re proven now? The only thing they’ve proven is that they can’t compete.

  16. I’m less interested in HRT’s new driver signings and more interested in a more pressing question: what exactly are they doing about a car for next year?

    1. Modifying this year’s last I read…

      Which might not be such a bad thing as at least they’ll know how to set it up…

  17. This feels very USF1 and I doubt they’ll make it to the end of the season.

  18. Perhaps it was his NASCAR truck racing experience that got him the race seat? He’d be at a major advantage compared to other drivers when getting into the HRT, I guess…

    1. Is that turn right, right, right, right or turn left, left, left, left. I can’t remember. Surely he deserves a seat for remembering all of that.

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