June 07, 2020
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Narayan Karthikeyan

India's most popular F3 driver on what it takes to be the fastest Indian on wheels

Narayan Karthikeyan
An Indian on the F3 circuit. What's the reaction?
The other drivers found it strange. Their eyes almost popped out when they saw me on the wheels.

So they thought you were from Mars.
Sort of. They thought Indians could only play cricket.

You've been talking about cracking the F1 circuit for some time now. And it doesn't seem to happen. People might get bored of waiting.
I started racing on the F3 circuit only in 1999. So, people have been hearing about it for only two years. I've been living this dream for seven years.

But how far away are you from becoming an F1 driver?
I'll be the first Indian to test F1 cars later this year. I could be on the F1 circuit after two years. The World Cup is also coming up in Macau in November. I am sure I'll do India proud.

Do you really believe that you can be a Senna or a Prost?
I'd love to be a Senna, because he was the best. Everything he did was perfect.

The F1 circuit needs charismatic drivers. Aren't you going to make it even more boring?
Well...umm. I'm definitely marketable. I am a new face, from a new region.

When will you ever be number one?
I've had trouble with my car this year, but I did have two first place finishes last year.

With ten sponsors, is there any space left for a logo on your racing suit?
need the money, so the space will have to be made.

But keeping ten sponsors happy isn't easy. It requires many media appearances, something you don't seem uncomfortable with?
I was uncomfortable initially. But you need to do it and I am quite comfortable now.

What do you think inside your car just before the green light?
My car is my office. I am always cool and calm before speeding away.

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