Narain Karthikeyan is till date only Indian driver to participate in Formula 1 championship. Born on January 14, 1977 in Coimbatore, India, he is currently an A1 GP driver. He made his debut his F1 in 2005 with the Jordan team. He served as test driver for Williams F1.
Narain started his career with a bang. He reached the podium in his
first ever race, at Sriperumpudur in a Formula Maruti. Thereafter he
decided to train himself in a regular racing school. He joined the Elf
Winfield Racing School in France. He reached the semi-finals in the
Pilote Elf Competition for Formula Renault cars in 1992. In 1993, he
participated in Formula Maruti in India. He also took part in the
Formula Vauxhall Junior championship in Great Britain. In 1994, he raced
in the Formula Ford Zetec series. as the number two works Vector driver
for the Foundation Racing team. In a race held for supporting the
Portuguese Grand Prix he reached the podium. He also won the British
Formula Ford Winter Series. He became the first Indian and the first
Asian to win the Formula Asia International series. In 1997, he competed
brilliantly in the British Formula Opel Championship.
He debuted in the Formula Three Championship with the Carlin Motorsport
team in 1998 and impressed everyone. He continued for 1999, finishing on
the podium five times. He also had to his credit two pole positions and
three fastest laps. In 2000, he finished fifth in the British F3
Championship. His performance was also noteworthy at the Korean Super
Prix, Spa-Francorchamps and the Macau Grand Prix.
In 2001, Karthikeyan finished the year among the top ten in the Formula
Nippon F3000. That very year, he became the first Indian to ever drive
an F1 car, testing for the Jaguar Racing team at Silverstone. In 2002,
he moved into the Telefonica World Series, setting the fastest non-F1
lap time at the Interlagos Circuit in Brazil. In 2003, participating in
the renamed Superfund Word Series, Narain performed fantastically to
finish fourth in the championship. His performance earned him a Formula
One test drive with Minardi. In 2004, he bagged victories in Valencia,
Spain and Magny-Cours, France, driving in the Nissan World Series.
Karthikeyan in F1
Narain Karthikeyan signed the preliminary deal with Jordan Formula One
team on February 1, 2005, making him first Indian F1 driver. However, he
was a rookie driver, meaning he paid for his place in the team. In the
Australian Grand Prix, his first race, Karthikeyan qualified in 12th
position. He had his first points in the 2005 United States Grand Prix.
Besides the USGP, his best place was eleventh. At the end of 2005, he
crashed his Jordan at the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai. Fortunately,
he did not suffer any injuries.
In December, 2005, Karthikeyan tested successfully for Williams who
confirmed him as their fourth driver. For 2007, he signed a new contract
with Williams-Toyota, as secondary test driver.
Narain Karthikeyan is the biggest name in Indian motor racing sports. He is the only Indian Formula 1 driver till date to participate in F1 World Championship.
|2008||A1 GP World Championship A1 Team India, Winner British GP, Brands Hatch|
|2007||A1 GP World Championship A1 Team India,Winner Chinese GP|
|2007||Formula One World Championship Williams F1 Team, Test Driver|
|2006||Formula One World Championship Williams F1 Team, Test Driver|
|2005||Formula One World Championship Jordan, 18th (5pts)|
|2004||Formula Nissan World Series (World Series by Nissan), 6th (TATA RC Motorsport)|
|2003||Formula Nissan World Series (Superfund Word Series), 4th (Carlin Motorsport)|
|2002||Formula Nissan World Series (Telefónica World Series), 9th (TATA RC Motorsport)|
|2001||Formula Nippon, 14th (Team Impul)|
|2000||British Formula 3, 4th (Stewart|
|1999||British Formula 3, 6th (Carlin Motorsport)|
|1998||British Formula 3, 12th (Carlin Motorsport)|
|1997||8th British Formula Vauxhall|
|1996||Formula Asia, Champion|
|1995||Formula Asia (4 races)|
|1994||British Formula Ford Winter Series, Champion|
|1993||Indian Formula Maruti + British Formula Vauxhall Junior|
|1992||ELF Winfield Racing School, Circuit Paul Ricard, France won debut race Pilote Elf Competition for Formula Renault.|