Narain Karthikeyan, HRT, Suzuka, 2011

Liuzzi to stand down for Karthikeyan in India

2011 Indian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Narain Karthikeyan, HRT, Suzuka, 2011
Narain Karthikeyan, HRT, Suzuka, 2011

Vitantonio Liuzzi will not drive in the Indian Grand Prix as Narain Karthikeyan takes his place at HRT.

Karthikeyan will drive in his home Grand Prix alongside Daniel Ricciardo.

Karthikeyan said: “Driving in front of the home crowd cheering on is going to be a surreal experience. A once in a lifetime experience and I feel extremely fortunate.

“There is a huge buzz around the Grand Prix already and I?m sure that it’ll be a resounding success that will motivate more youngsters towards the sport and give us the future F1 drivers. Making it into F1 at the time I did was a seriously uphill task and the thought of being able to compete in the inaugural Indian Grand Prix was non-existent.

“But it is finally here and I?ll be on the grid. It is going to be one of the most challenging circuits on the calendar. There are points at which, if you?re in an F1 car, you will see nothing but the sky.

“The layout itself is going to put tremendous energy through the tyres and the strategy will play a key role in the final result. For sure I?ll race hard and try to get a good result for myself and the team. I would like to express my gratitude towards Tata Group and the rest of sponsors for their continued support and belief throughout my career.”

Team principal Colin Kolles said: “Having Narain Karthikeyan, the first Indian driver in F1 history, and Tata with us makes it feel like a home race. Narain is a talented driver and we are proud to be going down this path with him.

“For this single event, Narain will be driving alongside Daniel Ricciardo. I have asked Tonio Liuzzi to step aside for the Indian Grand Prix in order to allow driving programs with Ricciardo and Karthikeyan to be completed.

“I have to thank Tonio for his professional approach and attitude. After the positive performance the team had in Korea, I hope that we will keep on that line in India. Although Narain has already driven around the track and given us a positive feedback, we really don’t know what to expect but we are looking forward to it.”

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