Time to say Goodbye: Narain Karthikeyan

2 Feb

Isn’t he the cucumber one, how’s his F1 career been?

Like Timo Glock who we featured earlier in the series Narain Karthikeyan (or the cucumber as Vettel calls him) is one of the few drivers who’s had two chances, but unlike Glock it hasn’t been his talent that’s given him this opportunity it was his millions of pounds of sponsorship that came with him that’s secured him a seat. His first chance came in 2005 with Jordan and it was a shocker to say the least, Narain made in into the top 10 on only 1 occasion where he finished a fantastic forth at the US GP, an achievement that was rather undermined by the fact that only 6 cars were allowed to start the race. As a result of this poor season no one was willing to take him for 2006 when Jordan left F1.

I bet few people predicted him returning to F1 after that?

You could definitely say that but when cash strapped HRT were looking for a driver who came with sponsorship backing Karthikeyan stepped into the team to drive for them in 2011. 2011 was a pretty awful season, first he failed to make the cut in the season opener in Australia and he than found every race an uphill struggle until HRT dropped him in favour of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo mid season. Due to sponsorship reasons Karthikeyan raced for HRT in the Indian GP. Despite this HRT brought him back in for 2012 but it didn’t start much better Karthikeyan yet again failed to qualify in Australia, and this set the precedent for the year with no thrilling performances and only being newsworthy when he was involved in an incident.

Being India’s first F1 driver has he set hearts racing over there?

Not set them ablaze but he’s helped light the fire, he competed in India’s inaugural F1 race and has played a major part in the setting up of an Indian national racing series.

Wow that’s good. So what do you expect him to do now?

I very much doubt he’ll ever return to F1 (although that was said in 2006) but I do expect that Narain will take a position in some executive role with the Indian motorsport body in a bid to promote Formula 1 in India, he should be very good at that role, and since he’s 36 retirement from motorsport wouldn’t be surprising.

How do you rate his F1 career?

2/10 he just didn’t have the calibre.



3 Responses to “Time to say Goodbye: Narain Karthikeyan”

  1. Chitra Subramanyam February 3, 2013 at 11:33 #

    Love the series you are currently doing. It’s much needed and really well-written! Personally I have never been a Karthikeyan fan (even though I am Indian). Though, I would love to see someone from my country make it to the podium some day.

    • tomtoma2z February 3, 2013 at 11:48 #

      Thank you very much. I agree it would be great to see an Indian driver on the podium sadly it currently doesn’t look likely that Karthikeyan or Karun Chandhok will ever return to F1 so we’ll just have to wait until a new Indian star comes along.

      • Kishan February 3, 2013 at 17:30 #

        Indian in podium?? good joke. fact is that F1 is a very costly sport. even so called talented kamui kobayashi could not find a seat due to sponsorship issues with his team.
        As a first Indian on F1 he should be really proud. I feel he really never had much opportunity with the car he had all seasons.

        For your information in his early years F1 was not even being telecast in India. as far as my knowledge it was started only in Late 1990s. Its was really a brave decision. He stood as one in million.

        His entry was into F1 made many Indias watch F1, then a F1 team, recently a F1 circuit.

        He deserves credit as an ambassador of F1 in India !!

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