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Narain Karthikeyan makes a comeback to Formula 1 racing after 5 years

Narain Karthikeyan has managed to get a Formula 1 drive for the 2011 season with Hispania Racing Team (HRT). This will be the second time Narain will compete in F1 after his association with Jordan in 2005. Narain will be thrilled as he will be racing in F1 again in the year when India will host its first Grand Prix at Delhi. With Karun Chandhok still looking for a possible F1 seat in 2011, it might end up a great year for F1 lovers in India if both of them manage to race this year.

Speaking to the media, the 33 year old Indian was rightfully ecstatic about fulfilling his dream of being on the F1 grid for the first Grand Prix in India.

“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,” said Karthikeyan.

Narain thanked the Tata Group, who have been instrumental in getting him the F1 seat this year.

“It’s been a while in the making, but I am delighted to be racing again in Formula 1 in 2011. I have always maintained that I have not given up on my desire to return to the top level of motor sport. I am confident that I have the pace, the fitness and the will to succeed in Formula 1. I am extremely grateful to the Tata Group, without whose unwavering support, this comeback would not have been possible.

“I’m looking forward to racing for HRT, and to working again with Dr Colin Kolles (MD/Team Principal, Hispania Racing). We have a long standing and excellent working relationship together,” said Karthikeyan.

It will be a great year for the Indian motorsport fans as not only there is an Indian team on the Grid for the 2011 Delhi race, but now we also have a confirmed Indian driver on the grid.

Source: Rediff

Karun Chandhok lead HRT finishes over the weekend at Sepang

Karun Chandhok lead HRT finishes over the weekend at Sepang

Hispania Racing Team (HRT) achieved what they were set out to do in the Malaysian Grand Prix when both their drivers completed the race. Karun Chandhok finished his second race in a row and this was the first race finish for Bruno Senna. Both the drivers were very satisfied with the results.

Karun Chandhok who finished 15th at Sepang was very happy with the result.

Speaking after the race he said, “I am fantastically happy to have finished my second race today after our difficult debut in Bahrain. I kept out of trouble and pitted on lap 17. On lap 45, I had a tricky moment, passing Trulli’s Lotus. A great thank to the team who did a fantastic job. To finish was very difficult today but I am happy to have done it.”

Bruno Senna who completed his first race this season was really pleased with the efforts of the team to get both cars to finish.

“I had a good start and gained as much as I could. I am really pleased for the team to have finished the race with both cars. It has been another positive weekend for the team taking a good step forward.” , he said after the race.

The team Principal Collin Kolles was visibly elated as his team was able to finish both the cars only in their third race and was all praise for both the drivers.

“A fantastic day for the team completing our first two-car finish in only our third race, with no pre-season testing. Bruno Senna had a good start while Karun Chandhok had a bad one. But Karun could find a good pace then and both drivers had reliable races. Again we have made a great step forward. We reached our goal with two cars finishing the race. Congratulations to the team who worked again hard to achieve this result. Now we have to work on more developments for the next Grand Prix in China.”, he said.

So the HRT team has achieved their first goal but now would want to do better in the upcoming Chinese Grand Prix. Both the drivers would be confident with their cars after a good race at Sepang and would want to carry over the confidence to the rest of the season.

Hispania Racing team who had a disappointing beginning to the season when both their racers were unable to finish in Bahrain said that they are aiming for finishes in Australia. Karun Chandhok hit a bump and crashed out and Senna could only complete 17 laps as an engine failure forced him to retire.

Speaking to the media the team principal Colin Kolles said “We have worked extremely hard since the Bahrain season opener, We have worked long hours and successfully with Bridgestone, Cosworth and Xtrac learned from our first laps with the car and found a good basis from which to start preparation for our second Grand Prix in Australia in a few days. “

“We have successfully repaired the damage sustained by Karun Chandhok’s car and focused on building our car’s reliability. Our goal is to improve steadily and the next step is to work towards our first race finish. I am confident we will achieve this goal very soon and having seen how we came together as a team in Bahrain I can see just how much potential and commitment we have”, he added.

Karun Chandhok who had a disappointing start to his F1 campaign seemed optimistic with his chances in Australia.

“I am really looking forward to my second F1 race this weekend,” he said. “I have never driven in Melbourne, but I am a very quick learner. I was able to work on a team’s simulator before the Grand Prix so that will help my familiarisation a little bit! Our next step with the team’s engineers is to make the car reliable for the race. The secret of good racing preparation is to complete as many laps as possible on Friday to see where we are with the car. Finishing the race would be a fantastic achievement we will strive for.”

Bruno Senna who was forced to retire due to an engine failure after 17 laps hoped that HRT will have a better finish this weekend in Australia. Bruno Senna who has already won on this track albeit in Formula 3 seemed really confident ahead of the second race of the season.

“We need to continue building on what we achieved in Bahrain,” said the Brazilian. “We put two cars together and ran successfully in Bahrain. Now we must continue to work as a team. I came early to Australia to acclimatise to the time difference. I love Australia more and more, as I spend more time here! I have already driven on the Melbourne track, back in 2006.”

“I did the F3 support race for F1 back then and had a fairly successful weekend. I won! Now, I must work with the team to continue learning about the car. I have enjoyed working long hours with the team so far and I will be giving my all as I really want to progress and guarantee them good results.”

Source: Formula1.com

Karun Chandhok becomes only the second Indian to secure a formula one drive

Karun Chandhok became only the second Indian racer to secure a drive in Formula one. He joins Narain Karthikeyan who was the first Indian to receive this distinction in 2005 when he was signed up by Jordan. Karun Chandhok will race for Hispania Racing Team (HRT) along with the Brazilian rookie Bruno Senna being his partner.

This was rather special for the man from Chennai as he realized his dream of driving a Formula one car. Speaking to the reporters the HRT team principal Colin Kolles said,

“I’m pleased to announce our official car livery today,” he told reporters in Murcia, Spain.

“We also complete the driver’s team line-up with the Indian Karun Chandhok at the wheel of the car for our first ever season,” Kolles added

“We are proud to have Karun as part of our team line-up ahead of our Grand Prix debut in Bahrain. I am delighted that we can count on such a promising young talent as Karun Chandhok,” Kolles said in a statement.

Karun Chandhok had been participating in the GP2 series over the past few years and has now graduated to Formula one with this signing. Speaking to the media after hearing the news Karun said,

“This is just an unbelievable feeling. I am absolutely thrilled to be able to fulfill a lifelong dream to break into Formula One,” an elated Karun said after he signed a deal to be Hispania Racing Team’s (HRT) second driver this season.

“I have been training really hard over the winter to be as fit as possible. I’ve been doing a lot in the heat in Chennai, cycling or running at 11 am at the peak of the heat,” he said.

“The F1 cars are particularly demanding on the neck because of the higher speeds and g-forces and I have been doing special exercises concentrating on building up my neck muscles. The first couple of races will be hard I’m sure but I’m pushing in the gym as much as I can,” said the youngster.

It’s amazing for a Formula one fan like me to see another Indian make this graduation. India has a Formula one team (Force India) and now we also have a driver in the mix. I hope that Karun can drive for Force India in the future. The thing for me to proud of is that Karun comes from the city in India I grew up in. So I hope that Karun makes this season memorable for Formula 1 fans in India.

Source: Rediff


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