HRT confirm Karthikeyan in team for 2011

2011 F1 season

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

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128 comments on HRT confirm Karthikeyan in team for 2011

  1. HRT = joke. first post since abu dhabi, happy new year and welcome f1 2011.
    ps
    i ve missed you.

  2. Burnout said on 7th January 2011, 20:28

    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?

    • McGregski (@mcgregski) said on 7th January 2011, 22:53

      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?

    • David A said on 8th January 2011, 6:06

      Does that mean MSC drove worse than Trulli in ’05?

      No, since MSC finished 19 points ahead of Trulli ;)

  3. HounslowBusGarage said on 7th January 2011, 20:40

    I’ve had a great idea!
    If you all give me a tenner each, I should be able to drive for HRT at Monza!

  4. McGregski (@mcgregski) said on 7th January 2011, 22:51

    HRT:
    Horrid Racing Talent
    Hurrendous Race Tactics
    Hugely Retarded T**ts

    Give up… sell your entry to someone with some balls!!

    • 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***!

  5. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 7th January 2011, 22:56

    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.

    • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 7th January 2011, 22:59

      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?

      • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 8th January 2011, 0:13

        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…

  6. 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 :) ???

  7. The Limit said on 9th January 2011, 16:21

    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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