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”

  1. I liked Narain at Jordan. At least he had some guts and wasn’t afraid to ring the neck of that heap of a car.

    I remember Martin Brundle complementing Narain on his aggression and raw speed but also being critical of his impetuousnous and lack of consistency.

    Perhaps he’ll be more refined now after racing in other types of cars. I say give the guy a chance.

    I’d rather see chandhok back though. He was showing Senna the way until he ran out of money and listening to him on the TV and Radio he is clearly a very pleasant guy with a genuine racing passion and knowledge.

    At the end of the day, if you only get a handful of races in a Jordan or a HRT you’re not getting a fair crack of the whip and to castigate drivers on this basis is just daft.

    1. It really is a pity we won’t see Chandhok drive in 2011. However if it means he gets a far more competitive drive with Team Lotus in 2012, I’m all for it.

      Assuming we’re all still alive then, of course!

  2. He finished ahead of Monterio in that 2005 season,with same no.of retirements as that of his team technicaly he is not bad driver…but let me sat one thing guyz,why not the HRT team should go for a pay driver (or someone bringing some bucks to keep the team running!)…

    i mean,put vettel or alonso in that HRT car,no wonder if it’s capable of just finishing the races,,4-5 laps down!
    then why put a pro in that car?

  3. Well, with many drivers who pay for the drive or bring the sponsors you can easily say that at least they have some talent. Perez, Maldonado and Petrov are good, recent examples of those. But I can’t say same about Karthikeyan, who is in my opinion, only selected to drive because of his money.

    1. It makes me wonder how come the likes of Karthikeyan and Yamamoto manage to keep getting the sponsor dollars – despite having had a crack at F1 and proved themselves to be nothing special – and drivers like Hulkenberg who have proven themselves to have more natural talent don’t seem to attract any.

  4. I’m getting sick of the complaints about “drivers like him” getting a drive whereas Hülkenberg does not. Hülkenberg did not have a good season at all in 2010 and did not show any kind of talent which would make him an enrichment for the series, and I am saying that as a German, just to remove any thought of bias. Does he truly deserve a seat because he did two, note two, extremely good laps?
    Give me 10 minutes and I am sure I can find two very good laps of Karthikeyan and show that he “deserves” his F1 seat. People these days…

    And this is me saying this, who doubts Narain Karthikeyan will do good at all. But he has sponsorship, Weber is too stupid to get some for Hülkenberg, so he got what was coming to him. Geez, you people…

    1. Does he truly deserve a seat because he did two, note two, extremely good laps?

      Hülkenberg showed his potential on more occasions than just qualifying in Brazil. If you read Williams’ statement from when they dropped him it’s pretty clear they’d rather have kept him.

    2. Hulkenberg, as most people agree had a respectable season alongside the most experienced driver in the sport. He was generally pretty close to Barrichello in terms of pace (especially outside of the first few races) and of course did set pole in Brazil.

      Karthikeyan was soundly whipped by Tiago Montiero and suffered that embarrassing crash in Shanghai. He’s clearly just a pay driver. And not even young like Petrov.

      1. Karthikeyan was soundly whipped by Tiago Montiero and suffered that embarrassing crash in Shanghai. He’s clearly just a pay driver. And not even young like Petrov.

        7-12 in qualifying and 6-7 in races where both finished … if that is “soundly whipped”, then Hülkenberg does not look better. Although, on second thought, that comparison is unfair, since Barrichello is quite some leauges above Monteiro, so Hülkenberg did actually look quite well, although I still believe he is rated way too high.

        And it is not like I would hate it if Hülkenberg was to get a seat in F1, but my problem was that some posts were quite aggressive (including my uncivilized response) and so I felt a bit offended, since in my opinion it’s not like it would be a offense to F1 itself that he has another shot like many people try to paint it. Pay drivers always were and presumably always will be a part of motor racing.

        Well, my mistake and I should think twice before posting. I’m sorry.

        1. People keep talking about Hulkenberg because he looks like being the most high-profile casualty this year, and nobody likes to see talented drivers sat on the sidelines while those who are perceived to be less deserving pay their way into the sport. There are probably more drivers who “deserve” an F1 seat than there are available spaces anyway, so pay drivers just make the situation worse.

  5. Wonder if pay drivers for one off Grand Prix will become more often. Chandhok for India, Fittipaldi in Brazil, Mansell at Silverstone, Patrese at Monza Andretti for USA.
    Starting to think Ferrari’s third car is a good idea!

  6. HRT are going the right way about ******* F1 fans off. I appreciate this is a financial move for the greater good of the team blah blah blah. But as a fan I want consistency and faces I can relate to. I’m all for new teams but HRT are embarassing themselves.

    1. Here, Here!

      If F1 is the pinnacle of Motor Sport, then everything about the drivers should be based on quality, ability, merit…

      If HRT do not have the money, then tough S***. They should not be competing. We lower the standards in the sport, (and as previously stated) where is the incentive for a young kart and GP racer to follow his dreams to become F1 racing driver?

  7. I honestly can’t understand why Narain is facing so much heat in the comments here. He wasn’t exactly bad. At the start of the ’05 season, he was the fastest rookie. He finished ahead of Monteiro in 6 of the 13 races that both of them finished.

    And lets not forget he was driving a year old EJ14 that had been brought to ’05 regs and had undergone a cut and paste to swap a Cosworth engine for a Toyota. Plus it was the worst season to be on Bridgestone tyres. If it hadn’t been for the US grand prix, Ferrari would have finished behind Toyota. Does that mean MSC drove worse than Trulli in ’05?

    1. Nahrain has been out for 6 years this year… the most similar situation to compare him to is the legend himself. If Schumi can’t keep up in a good car how on earth is Nahrain going to acheive anything in last years car with some new bits?

    1. This decision made by HRT/F1 is not about the gullible supporters, it is just about money and greed, it is just that simple. There are no excuses and there are no justifications, so why are are people in this forum agreeing with what is clearly wrong?

      Bringing in crap, sponsored drivers destroys the real value and integrity of the sport. When a WDC lifts the trophy, should he not know that he has beaten the best in his sport? Why does the British Olympic Team not use the same system as HRT – possibly because it is a results rewarded sporting activity. Should F1 not be the same?

      What these idiots are doing at HRT is providing a glorified F1 Driving Experience that lasts the entire racing Season for one individual with lots of money. HRT will not be developing the car based on this waste of breathing space with lots of Rupees, and therefore, I feel sorry for the real racing talent that is being passed over.

      I really love F1, but this is really S***!

  8. Repoprts suggest Chandhok actually turned HRT down. It’s only gpupdate but they’re pretty reliable. So that means either a testing role (Lotus is the usual one bandied around), or an outside chance at Force India? Mallya didn’t sound too impressed with him though and he’s got at least two better drivers to compete with for a seat.

    1. Hit “Submit” early.

      Maybe Chandhok has seen how HRT operate and has no confidence in either keeping his seat or the team even surviving?

      Anyway I hope Karthikeyan comes back with his old aggression, at least that’s better than useless Yamamoto trundling around. He might even be handy. Doubt it though.

      Plus it looks like Senna isn’t driving for HRT either. So who’s going there? Force India reject, or another name from nowhere like Lopez?

      1. From Kolles’ comments of not being in a rush to fill the seat and waiting to see where everyone lands, including existing contracted drivers who may end up without a seat, it sounds like he’s banking on Liuzzi bringing Force India money…

  9. Come on guys.. cut some slack here, will ya !!!

    Obviously he is returning after a long time, obviously he is going to drive for a backmarker and obviously he does not have a racing pedigree to boast of, but how many such 1-season guest appearances have made such a comeback, especially after such a long gap??

    And it’s not like the people at HRT are total dunces to make such a gamble, however absurd and illogical this decision of theirs may sound to us laymen??

    From what we have seen of him in 2005, he obviously was faster and aggressive than his teammate, who had managed to ‘beat him’ (so to say) by just about bringing the car to finish, though consistently I must admit, but was is it of any use?? Has Monteiro even raced in any other category after that??

    And as mentioned by the commentator in the Japanese GP 2005 QF (I think), that Narain was one of the better wet weather drivers of the lot. All this must mean that this guy does have some talent… But I am skeptical whether he can show the same in a HRT ???

    Anyways… let him drive with a decent car and then we’ll judge… I am sure he can perform better than Sutil or Liuzzi given a car like FI..

    NOTE: For the record, I am strictly against pay drivers and this whole thing… but its a reality we all have to live with !!! You and me don’t run F1, do we :) ???

  10. I am surprised by HRT’s decision by hiring a driver who has spent six years away from the sport, but in terms of investment in the team it makes sense. You only have to look at what happened to Nico Hulkenberg at Williams. He claims the team’s first pole position for years with a brilliant drive in Brazil and then is promptly dropped for Maldonado. The simple equation is that Maldonado brings with him millions of dollars in sponsorship to Williams, a once great team but one that is now struggling and desperate for investment. This is not the Williams team of Nigel Mansell’s era or even Juan Pablo Montoya, those days have come and long gone for this team.
    In essence when we look at Bruno Senna even the most optomistic fan would have to say 2010 for the rookie exposed too many weaknesses in the Brazilian. You only have to look back two years to the transition from the Honda F1 team to Brawn Gp. Senna’s name was brought up as a potential driver for the team, the opportunity was there for Ross Brawn to use him if he saw enough potential. In the end, Ross chose the experience of Barrichello over Senna at that in itself speaks volumes.
    At the end of the day I fear HRT are going to find 2011 even more tougher than 2010, no matter who they have driving their race cars. New teams entering F1 never had it easy, even in the years of testing and allowing young drivers to knock out track miles.
    Personally, I don’t buy the argument that drivers can progress just using fancy simulators. David Coulthard was right last year by suggesting that new drivers need as many test miles as possible in order to prepare for F1, I am convinced that the testing ban is a huge handicap to bringing fresh talent into F1.

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