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Narain Karthikeyan

Formula 1 driver

Narain Karthikeyan
Vital statistics for Narain Karthikeyan
BirthplaceChennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Born14 January 1977
F1 debutAustralian Grand Prix, 2005

Narain Karthikeyan first raced in F1 for Jordan Grand Prix in 2005, before making a comeback with Hispania Racing in 2011. He finished last for many of the races he participated in with HRT, and as the team folded at the end of 2012, he was left without a seat for the following year.

F1 biography

Karthikeyan spent a long time working his way up to Formula One, with racing running in the family and a background starting out in a racing school. Junior categories included British Formula Ford and Formula Three, as well as Formula Nippon and the World Series by Nissan. In 2006, he joined the Jordan Grand Prix team but finished the championship down in 18th.

He moved to Williams for 2006, becoming their test driver for two seasons, before leaving the sport altogether at the end of 2007. Narain tried his hand at endurance racing and the NASCAR Truck series before Formula One came calling again. He was granted a return in 2011 with the struggling Hispania Racing team.

Unfortunately, he was with a team who couldn’t settle on a driver line-up, so his season was halted midway through and he had to take a back seat. Brought out of the garage for the inaugural Indian Grand Prix, Karthikeyan was pleased to race at his home event, but had to step back again for the final two rounds of the year.

One of Karthikeyan’s strengths was his experience in many forms of racing. He has participated in F1, A1GP and other forms of single seater racing, NASCAR, and endurance racing at Le Mans. He has tried almost everything and brought HRT a wealth of knowledge about how racing teams should work and how to make progress. Unfortunately, his experience did not help him with the underperforming car, and HRT's demise at the end of 2012 left him without an F1 race seat for the future.

After Formula One, Karthikeyan joined the Auto GP series in 2013, and then moved to Super Formula in Japan for 2014 and beyond.