Feb.3 (HRT) Spanish outfit HRT F1 announces that Indian driver, Narain Karthikeyan, will complete the team’s line up for the 2012 season alongside Spanish driver Pedro de la Rosa. These two drivers will contest the 2012 FIA Formula One World Championship for the team, which gets underway on March 16th at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne, Australia.
The Chennai-born driver will thus compete in his second season with the Spanish squad, with whom he made history at last year’s inaugural Indian Grand Prix, by being the only Indian driver on the grid. A strong weekend with a great result ensued with his performance garnering international acknowledgement.
The extension of the relationship between Narain Karthikeyan and HRT F1 Team is based on the principle of continuity contributing to the stability and reliability of the team and, at the same time, offering Narain Karthikeyan the necessary confidence to progress. This progression and teamwork will be vital for the growth and establishment of the renewed HRT F1 Team.
The team will return to action next week at the first official pre-season tests, which take place in Jerez, where Pedro de la Rosa will take to the wheel. Narain Karthikeyan will join the team for the second tests in Barcelona, which will be held from the 21st to the 24th of February at the Circuit de Catalunya.
Narain Karthikeyan: “It has taken a lot of hard work to make this happen but I am absolutely elated to feature on the 2012 grid with HRT F1 Team. I was pleased with our strong performance at the Indian Grand Prix, in front of my passionate home fans and I look forward to building on this result in 2012. I have been training hard since the end of 2011, ensuring I was ready for the rigours of F1 if an opportunity arose. I am delighted to have signed with HRT F1 Team. With the new management, Pedro, and the team, there is definite potential for progress. We need to understand that F1 is new to India, we hosted our first race only last year which was a resounding success. To build on that momentum, an Indian driver will certainly keep the interest engaged throughout the season. I am proud to secure an opportunity to forge a stronger connection between India and Formula 1 once again”.
Luis Pérez-Sala, Team Principal: “I am pleased to count with Narain for this season, as he will contribute continuity and stability. He is a quick, intuitive and secure driver who met his expectations despite a lack of continuity last year. Of the eight Grands Prix he contested in 2011, he only failed to finish on one occasion and had a great performance in the last race he took part in. I’m sure that the fact that he will continue to work and drive on a regular basis will help him take a step forward this season. And if he advances, so does the team. This is a year in which you could say that the team starts from scratch and everyone’s input will be fundamental”.