Force India consider Karthikeyan for race seat

Vijay Mallya with Narain Karthikeyan

Vijay Mallya with Narain Karthikeyan

Indian F1 driver Narain Karthikeyan has emerged as a surprise contender to fill the final spot on the 2013 grid.

Although Karthikeyan and team boss Vijay Mallya have never been the best of friends, the Deccan Chronicle newspaper said Karthikeyan’s sponsor Tata has opened the doors to the Silverstone based team.

However, the Ferrari-linked Frenchman Jules Bianchi appears arguably the hotter favourite to be Paul di Resta’s teammate this year, particularly after going second quickest in the brand new VJM06 car as the Jerez test wrapped up on Friday.

Bianchi told Autosport on Friday: “Even if the plan was to stay a third driver for two years, now the plan has changed and I’m ready.”

A source, however, told the Deccan Chronicle newspaper that 2012 HRT driver Karthikeyan is now also a contender, thanks to a boost to his sponsorship coffers.

“As soon as Tata increased the budget for 2013, talks with Force India began,” the source said.

“Unlike the past, the negotiation has been a lot more positive. If talks fail, he will probably go to America for (the) Indycar series”. (GMM)

  • AAX

    Oh Dear! It’s bad enough that half of the back teams are full of rookies – Now this is actually worse. Send him to America I say.

    You have Sutil, Senna, Kobayashi or Kovalainen who could do a stand up job here.

  • Rick

    Just when you think that F1 is finally rid of bloody moving chicanes, another contender emerges from the depths. How the hell this fool ever got a superlicence is well beyond my understanding.

  • bunko

    Is this a joke?

    I don’t agree with the idea of pay drivers, but if a team needs one to survive, then you can’t really blame them.

    BUT, surely there are far better pay drivers out there than this guy, If not better, then younger and with much better potential to learn.

    This guy has proven to be one of the worst F1 drivers in the last decade.

  • McLarenfan

    Is this a marketing ploy if so surely Karun Chandok is a better candidate, on merit I would go for Heikki Kovalainen or Bruno Senna

  • fapper

    WTF is this?! Are they dead serious??? They’ve got to be kidding me…

  • surya

    1994: British Formula Ford Winter Series, Champion
    1996: Formula Asia, Champion
    1998: British Formula 3, 12th (Carlin Motorsport)
    1999: British Formula 3, 6th (Carlin Motorsport)
    2000: British Formula 3, 4th (Stewart Racing)
    2003: Formula Nissan World Series (Superfund Word Series), 4th (Carlin Motorsport)
    2009: A1GP World championship A1 Team India, 2nd place at British GP at Brands Hatch
    2010:Superleague Formula Won the Race for (PSV Eindhoven SF Racing Team)

    this above stats proved that he can win and score points if he has good team and better car

    if given a good car may be he can prove it ………

  • surya

    his past F1 exprience

    he didn’t get a good Car or a good Midfield team ……….

    Jordan 2005 Backmarker team

    2006-2007 testing for williams and also raced for A1gp won the chinese gp

    2011-HRT Backmarker team

    2012-HRT Backmarker team

  • The Pessimist

    Well, a better bet than Jules Bianchi who despite getting many chances never came anywhere close to the times set by either Paul Di resta or the Hulk during free practices compared to what Valtteri Bottas who was matching and sometimes beating Pastor Maldonado’s times quite regularly.

    The irony is that Jules who by fluke set the second fastest time on day4 (not sure about his fuel levels and that too after being the third driver for a year) thinks that he totally deserves the Force India seat which is absurd.

  • AAX

    @The Pessimist – I believe Jules was definitely on dry runs and on softs for that lap

    @surya – Dude seriously..

  • El Mexicano

    I frankly don’t understand why a vast majority talk about the concept of “pay drivers”, since this isn’t reality probably more evident nowadays in this very challenging economic situation that is affecting everybody in the world. I have been a follower of F1 for more than 40 years and always there were pilots that earned their seats in the hard way and leaving the skin in the process but always were pilots that arrived to F1 by paying for their seats. It’s matter to review the history of the F1 and the pattern always have been the same. The same apply to all of the human activities because is tied to the human nature. It’s an utopia to think that there will be a day in which only the very best will shine. Unfortunately that is not the case we need to leave and understand and enjoy and admire when talents like Senna, Stewart, Hunt, Vettel and others to come shine in the arena.

  • jetpack

    @el mexicano:

    you’re making one mistake in your thought of

    ” always there were pilots that earned their seats in the hard way and leaving the skin in the process but always were pilots that arrived to F1 by paying for their seats”

    the talent level enabling you to get a seat has dropped significantly.

    in former times, you still had to be top-notch driver,

    while nowadays you have people like Van Garde, Karthikeyan etc. who have driven absolutely mediocre throughout their whole career

    In addition, nowadays it’s about a dozen of million dollars generated with pay-driving and the associated sponsorship money,

    while in former times it was about a few thousand of dollars…

    So your allegation that it has always been this way is pretty far-fetched.

  • jetpack

    Besides, this has to be one of the biggest jokes in Formula One History.

    Force India is acting thoroughly dishonest and misleading telling the world they are actually looking for a good driver and not for the money.

    Like Lewis Hamilton said, for any remotely sane F1 executive interested in driving ability there are two serious forces to be reckoned with:

    Heikki Kovalainen and a few steps down Kamui Kobayashi.

    Every other consideration is a stale joke. And everybody knows it.

  • wolverine

    i really don’t understand on what basis do people over here consider NK as a mediocre driver.He has been driving a less then mediocre car all his career and has never really had an opportunity to show his true speed.While i agree that Hekkie,sutil or even kobayashi are the best options for SFI,they won’t really bring in money for the team.If a pay driver is what they are looking for,why not Narian?(don’t really want to get into the debate of pay versus merit,there are plenty of pay drivers on the grid).

  • aks

    next year force india will b missing frm the team list,as it is vijay mallya and sahara group r going down the drain now they r adding the cherry to screw up the pie

  • VSingh

    Y Not Guys, When F1 can give chance to Senna (Renault and Williams who to me is also piece of crap), Kovalainen (Who did nothing apart from his career at Mclaren and Sutil being succeeded Only with Force India so Y the Hell Not. He deserves a Midfield team to show his potential – Comm’n Force India seal the deal.

  • surya

    notable performances from kobayashi…He s a good driver but he could have done much better with that team in F1

    2005 Formula Renault EurocupPrema Powerteam 1st
    Formula Renault 2.0 Italy 1st at the age of (19)
    2008–09 GP2 Asia Series DAMS 1st
    2010 Formula One BMW Sauber F1 Team 12th
    2011 Formula One Sauber F1 Team 12th
    2012 Formula One Sauber F1 Team 12th

    2102 podium in Japanese Grandprix

    notable performances from Hekki..

    2003 World Series by Nissan Gabord Competición 2nd
    2004 World Series by Nissan Pons Racing 1st
    2005 GP2 Series Arden International 2nd
    2007 Formula One ING Renault F1 Team 7th
    2008 Formula One Vodafone McLaren Mercedes 7th(Lewis was drivers Champion good car low performance)
    2009 Formula One Vodafone McLaren Mercedes 12th
    2010 Formula One Lotus Racing 20th Backmarker team
    2011 Formula One Team Lotus 22nd Backmarker team
    2012 Formula One Caterham F1 Team 22nd Backmarker team

  • Patagrande

    FI=Sleezy owner + PDR= Mediocre Prima Dona + NK= 100% Clown with Napoleon Complex

    Nothing more revolting than a moron whom is completedly unaware of being one.

    NK would be an embarassment even for a backmarker Indy Crap Team

  • Patagrande

    I cannot think of anyone having had better opportunities than Kovalanien, and blowing it.

    HK=Whinning Union Worker

  • Michael_in_Maine

    I can think of a certain Japanese driver that would be a gazillion (yup, a gazillion) times better. I know that Kaumi’s not perfect but he’s still a much better choice. I guess the plan is to stay near the bottom so that when the company goes tits up, there can be some sort of write-off. I don’t know I guess. Just having a hard time to find the logic in this decision.

  • Patagrande

    I have followed F1 since 1968 and do not remember seeing anyone get a thicker shaft than Kamui, and so undeservdely so.

    Sorry about multi posts, in bed using PS3 controller and sucking a it

  • Hawk


    never been so right about HK. I wonder why everyone keeps on harping about him. His CV shows how mediocre he is.