As comebacks go it’s no Schumacher Returns – unless you happen to be a big fan of Indian racing drivers.
Because Narain Karthikeyan will make a surprise return to Formula One this season after signing with Spanish strugglers Hispania for 2011.
The Indian racer has one season of experience at motorsport’s top level, having competed for the Jordan team in 2005. He took one points paying finish, coming home fourth in the US Grand Prix boycotted by the Michelin runners. Karthikeyan was one of just six starters, and finished behind team-mate Tiago Monteiro.
He was not retained by the team when they became Midland for 2006 has since worked as a test driver at Williams and raced in a variety of other categories including A1GP, Superleague Formula and NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series.
Now Karthikeyan has announced via his Twitter page that he will make his comeback as an F1 racer in 2011 with Hispania. The team are expected to confirm the news tomorrow morning.
“Back in F1 in 2011. Signed a deal to race for HRT. I’ve always maintained that my time in F1 was not over and now making good on that promise,” the 33-year-old tweeted.
“I’ve worked really hard to come back to F1 and it will be a dream come true to race in front of the home crowd in the Indian GP in October. Huge thanks to my long-time supporters The Tata Group. Their support has been instrumental.
“I’m looking fwd to the Indian public spurring me on with their blessings and good wishes,” he added.
His return to F1 is strongly linked to India hosting its maiden Grand Prix this season, with Karthikeyan’s backers, Tata Group, set to invest heavily in Hispania.
Karthikeyan became the first Indian to race in F1 when he debuted in 2005. Karun Chandhok subsequently became the second when he raced for Hispania last year, but was dropped in favour of Sakon Yamamoto mid-way through the 2010 campaign. His future remains unclear.