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HRT confirm Narain Karthikeyan's return to F1 // The backmarker team sign a new driver for 2011

Published by Christine

Narain gained experience with Williams.
Credit: Williams F1

Yesterday, Narain Karthikeyan signed himself up for a race seat at Hispania Racing by the medium of Twitter. It's not the normal way of doing things, but equally, it's not the first time a piece of news has escaped via the microblog before the official PR department has a chance to get their act together.

The tweet focused mostly on the aspect of Narain's return to F1.

Back in F1 in 2011. Signed a deal to race for HRT. I've always maintained that my time in F1 was not over & now making good on that promise.

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I've worked really hard 2 come back 2 F1 & it will be a dream come true 2 race in front of the home crowd in the Indian GP in October.

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Whilst no-one doubted the honesty of his words, today HRT confirmed that they have, indeed, signed the Indian for a 2011 race seat. That is one half of their line-up complete. Team principal Colin Kolles is hoping to make use of Narain's vast experience, which includes a previous stint in F1, some sportscar racing, and the strange world of Superleague Formula.

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

It will be good for Hispania to have a driver with some experience, although it is questionable how much Narain can really bring to the table. The 33-year-old hasn't raced in F1 since 2005, with two subsequent years as a test driver. The cars and the regulations have both changed considerably over the past few seasons, so it may be like starting from scratch for him.

However, signing any driver is good news for HRT. The rumours of financial difficulties will not cease, and although the deal isn't sealed until the car is out on track, today's news points to a continued existence for Hispania, if not a brighter future.