Tag Archives: Force India F1

The return of Narain Karthikeyan!

That was a very pleasantly surprising news, when HRT announced the lineup with Pedro De La Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan for the year 2012. I am not going into the specifics of sponsorships especially when even the last year HRT ran with TATA as the main sponsor. A season aborted last year and making a historic appearance during the Indian GP, I remember his exact lines.

Driving in front of the home crowd cheering [me] on is going to be a surreal experience, a once in a lifetime experience and I feel extremely fortunate.

That he could make it irrespective of the competition so hard speaks volume about the confidence in the way he can pull it off. I am not talking about the monetary part, I have had the opportunity to see him at close quarters and let me admit that he has this confidence of pulling it off when people almost have written him off.

I remember even the first season, it was a great debut going by what he has been through, and sponsorship issues which stopped him from racing with the erstwhile Minardi for a couple of races in 2004. It was always his optimistic outlook which saw him in good stead even when the critics wrote him off and that included some of the reporters who were reporting F1 for the first time.

His presence augurs well for F1 in India and most importantly the Indian GP. This will also boost the fortunes of the young drivers especially the likes of Armaan Ebrahim and Aditya Patel and others. Karun ofcourse will be a reserve driver.

In his Q&A on the sidelines of the HRT announcement Narain says F1 is a continued dream…

For me, Formula 1 is a continued dream, it is always ultra-competitive and competing at the pinnacle of the sport is what I love. So I am very happy to have the opportunity to continue living my dream and I have every intention to make the best out of it.

As for the sponsors they will be able to leverage the last year one off sponsorships to a more sustainable year long affair. I am happy to see an Indian on the track who is a cynosure of all eyes in the paddock. In one of my conversations with a F1 driver, he saw Narain as a natural & gifted driver and lets not forget what his team mate at Carlin Motorsports the present day Mc Laren driver Jenson Button had to say. He was in praise of him infact he had beaten Jenson in British F3.

Talking about Carlin Motorsports, I am reminded how close Trevor Carlin was to owning an F1 team and that would have changed Narain’s career in F1 and also the Indian connection would have had far reaching effects. Having said that, lets resign to the fact like what Narain said all’s well that ends well.

With India solidly a part of the F1 calendar we can only hope for the best to happen and wish it had happened a little earlier it would have been far better and more robust Narain with better experience and far better team to contend with.

Lets hope for some real stellar drive from the fastest Indian! This season gives another opportunity for the Indian F1 fan to root for another car apart from the Sahara Force India F1 team.

Now the most important thing which made me blog this post was this part of the Q & A:

Q: How would you define yourself as a driver?

NK: One thing’s for sure – I never give up. I’m here, against all odds and expectations, which wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. I have worked incredibly hard, I believe in my ability and know that I am as quick as anyone else out there.

Here’s wishing him all the best and salutation to his never say die attitude which  has got him back to where he rightfully belongs.

R Senthilkumar

Fisi: Drive of the year

Well, let me admit when I wrote the last post it was with a little less expectation at the podium because we had enough reason with KERS and more so with some real big players who can play spoilsport.

As the lights went out, I was little worried since there could an incident and was fervently praying that the first car should be out of it. No wonder that as if answering my prayer the second corner was made into the most valuable parking lot with three cars in collision at the back of the grid. Safety car followed and Fisi till this time was only under attack from the Red Ferrari with Kimi at the wheel. I think Kimi has mastered the art of using the KERS to full advantage at even the first corner. He did run wide but got back to the track with no damage.

I knew that Kimi was going to overtake Fisi as soon as the Safety car is in. It was true, but Kimi was made to work for that. My heart pumping fast, should there be a Kimi – Force India gate happen once more, you would have both their races ruined. Luckily the car cruised through with the button pushed and then the best thing happened. Fisi wanted to get back the place. I thought it was foolish of him to try that hard with only the thought that he drive carefully with Kimi around.

But the race was too good to be true, with Fisi almost attacking the back of Kimi at every given opportunity and making Kimi really work hard and yes it was a hard earned victory for Kimi.

Fisi drove a flawless race from the start to the end. It was such a delight to watch him drive along. He used all his experience to the max, and led to one of the most cherishing moment for his team. An entry into the point in such a grand fashion seemed only too deserving after all the wonderful performance the whole weekend.

I liked the way we saw it, the biggest budgeted team, and the lowest budgeted team fought a fierce battle to be on top of the podium. It was a delight when they said, look who’s spending so much and who is performing.

The man has never been so popular what with his team mate stealing the show and he has been a underrated driver though not necessarily from the teams’ point of view. This should give him some breather and sure will boost up his rating for the next year.

As such the team did a fantastic job and they were celebrating and it was a deserving celebration after all those long waits to be into the points. Let me also point out that this was one team whose motto was ‘Never say die’ and it was walking, talking and racing this philosophy. Even when they have had bitter results it had always been positive and has taken those incidents in its stride. Those patient days have borne fruit today.

I think we missed the playing of Indian National Anthem just because of KERS and well lot of people here are cursing the damn thing which FF1 does not have.

The drive also proved that yesterday’s pole was not a flash in the pan. It was hard work and a little bit of luck and well hard work does show and today it did.

Here’s wishing the entire crew of Force India F1 a Big Congrats!!! and hope to see more often this trend of the team the rest of the season.