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HRT signs Karthikeyan for 2011

J. Naveen Kumar
January 6, 2011 « Maldonado to hit the streets of Caracas in an F1 car | »

Six years after his debut season in Formula One, Indian driver Narain Karthikeyan will make a comeback as a race driver after securing a one-year contract with HRT for the 2011 season.

The 33-year-old last raced in F1 for Jordan in 2005 before becoming a test driver for Williams in 2006 and 2007. He is returning to the sport with money from Indian car giant Tata, which will provide a significant boost for the cash-strapped HRT outfit.

"It's been a while in the making, but I am delighted to be racing again in Formula One in 2011," said Karthikeyan. "I am confident that I have the pace, the fitness and the will to succeed in Formula One. I'm looking forward to racing for HRT, and to working again with [team principal] Colin Kolles. We have a long standing and excellent working relationship together."

Narain was also excited at the prospect of participating at the inaugural Indian GP that takes place near Delhi on October 30.

"I have worked really hard to come back to F1 and it will be a dream come true to race in the first ever Indian Grand Prix in front of my fellow Indians. I hope that they will spur me on with their blessings and good wishes."

Kolles said he is confident Karthikeyan still has the pace to compete at the top level, after spending the 2009 season racing for his team in the Le Mans Series.

"It is a great pleasure for us to have signed Narain Karthikeyan as our race driver for 2011," he said. "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. We are welcoming Narain to our team and we look forward to working closely with him this year."

During his break from F1, Karthikeyan has raced in A1GP, Le Mans Series, Superleague Formula and recently in NASCAR's Camping World Truck Series.