Kumar Ram Narain Karthikeyan (Tamil: குமார் ராம் நாராயண் கார்த்திகேயன்) (born 14 January 1977, in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India) is an Indian racing driver who in 2005 became the first Formula One driver from India. Over his career he competed in 48 races, starting 46, and scored a total of five points for a fourth-place finish at the 2005 United States Grand Prix.
Karthikeyan first tested an F1 car during the 2001 season, driving in a mid-season test for Jaguar, and later the same season he drove for the Jordan. In 2003 and 2004, he served as a test driver for Minardi, and even had the opportunity to race in the 2004 season, but was unable to secure the necessary sponsorship funding.
In 2005, Karthikeyan managed to secure a full-time race seat with the Jordan team, partnering fellow rookie Tiago Monteiro. Barring the US GP, where he became the first Indian to score points in F1, he had an uneventful season in what was Jordan's final season as an F1 team. He moved to Williams as a test driver for the 2006 and 2007 seasons. He was often linked to filling vacant seats, including at Spyker for 2007, Super Aguri for 2008.
Karthikeyan finally returned to F1 for the 2011 season, driving for the HRT team. He failed to qualify for the first race, and twice broke the record for the lowest-place classified finish with 23rd at the Chinese Grand Prix and 24th at the European Grand Prix. After the European GP, he was replaced by Daniel Ricciardo. He returned for the Indian Grand Prix, where he finished 17th. Karthikeyan won back the seat in 2012, this time driving the whole season. After HRT folded at the end of the season, Karthikeyan was no longer involved in F1.
He currently races in Super GT.
Formula One History[edit | edit source]
Before F1[edit | edit source]
Jordan (2005)[edit | edit source]
He made his début in 2005 for Jordan Grand Prix, becoming the first Indian driver in Formula One. Karthikeyan scored his only F1 points at the infamous 2005 United States Grand Prix, where he came fourth in a field of six cars. When the team became Midland, Karthikeyan was dropped from the team.
Williams (2006–2007) and interim years[edit | edit source]
He became a test driver for Williams, staying at the team throughout the 2006 and 2007 seasons. After this, he drove in A1GP, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the European Le Mans Series, and Superleague Formula.
HRT (2011–2012)[edit | edit source]
Karthikeyan made a surprise return to F1 in 2011, driving for the HRT F1 Team. Unfortuanately for Karthikeyan, he has twice set the record for lowest placed finisher in F1 history, 23rd at the Chinese Grand Prix and 24th at the European Grand Prix. His strongest race was the Canadian Grand Prix, where he originally came 14th, but received a 20-second penalty for cutting a chichane and gaining an advantage and was classified 17th. He was replaced by Daniel Ricciardo after the European GP. He made a return at the first Indian Grand Prix as a replacement to Vitantonio Luizzi. Karthikeyan finished 17th, beating Ricciardo and Jarno Trulli.
In 2012, he signed for the HRT team again. At the Malaysian Grand Prix, he had an eventful race, reaching points-paying positions before a collision with . Narian whon about 15 race fuijbg hi rcaeree with hrt
After HRT entered liquidation after the 2012 season, Karthikeyan raced in the Auto GP series in 2013. Between 2014 and 2018
Formula One Record and Statistics[edit | edit source]
F1 Career Record[edit | edit source]
|Year||Entrant||Team||WDC Pts.||WDC Pos.||Report|
|2001||Benson & Hedges Jordan Honda||Jordan-Honda||Test Driver|
|2003: Did not compete|
|2003||Trust Minardi Cosworth||Minardi-Cosworth||Test Driver|
|2004||Minardi Cosworth||Minardi-Cosworth||Test Driver|
|2005||BMW Williams F1 Team||Williams-BMW||Test Driver||Report|
|Jordan Grand Prix||Jordan-Toyota||5||18th|
|2006||Williams F1 Team||Williams-Cosworth||Test Driver|
|2007||AT&T Williams||Williams-Toyota||Test Driver|
|2008–2010: Did not compete|
|2011||Hispanic Formula 1 Team||HRT-Cosworth||0||26th||Report|
|HRT Formula 1 Team|
|2012||HRT Formula 1 Team||HRT-Cosworth||0||24th||Report|
Statistics[edit | edit source]
|Front Row Starts||0|
|Distance Raced||11164 km (6937 mi)|
|Distance Led||0 km (0 mi)|
Career Results[edit | edit source]
|Complete Formula One results|
|2006 – 2010: Did not compete|
|3rd||DNQ||Did not qualify|
|5th||Points finish||DNPQ||Did not pre-qualify|
|14th||Non-points finish||TD||Test driver|
|NC||Non-classified finish (<90% race distance)||DNS||Did not start|
|Italics||Scored point(s) for Fastest Lap||[+] More Symbols|
Notes[edit | edit source]
[edit | edit source]
|v·d·e||Nominate this page for Featured Article|