December 13, 2019
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'Excited And Happy'

'There have been ups and downs but when I sit back and think about it, I should say it was worth every effort as I never imagined that my dream of driving in F-1 (for Jordan) would be realised so soon,' says the fastest Indian on wheels.
'Excited And Happy'
AP
'Excited And Happy'
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+0553

Narain Karthikeyan is all set to become the first Indian to race in Formula One circuit as he arrived at an agreement in principle to drive for Team Jordan in the 2005 season.

It will a dream come true for the 28-year-old from Coimbatore when the agreement is finalised which is expected in a few days time.

"I am happy to be part of Team Jordan as I have been waiting for this opportunity since a long time. If all goes well I should be competing in the season opener at Melbourne (Australia) on March six," Karthikeyan said in Mumbai.

Karthikeyan has test driven a Formula One car but a chance to race in the circuit, where cars touch speeds of 320 kmph and where the most advanced technology in automobile is put to test, has eluded him.

He said his immediate aim to was to push Jordan one place further in the team standings in the annual championship.

"Obviously, I don't expect Team Jordan to win the championship. I will be happy if we could finish eighth as they had finished ninth last year," Karthikeyan said.

Elaborating on his immediate plans, he said "I will be going to Silverstone in a couple of days to get my special licence where I will have to drive between 300 to 350 kms in front of the FIA representatives.

"I will be moving my camp to Barcelona (Spain) to test drive and also for practice races before the Melbourne meet on March six", he added.

"Though I will be signing the agreement with Team Jordan by next week, I am confident and proud to say that I will be the first Indian to race in the Formula-1 Circuit," Karthikeyan said.

"It was during my Nissan World Series Championship that I gained the much needed confidence after doing quite well against champion drivers like Sato and Jensen Button.

"I am very excited and happy as my long cherished dream of participating in Formula-1 is about to be realised."

Karthikeyan's chances of entering the F-1 circuit received a boost when the Midland Group, owned by Russia-born Canadian business tycoon Alexander Schnaider, acquired Jordan in January this year.

The team's new sporting director is Trevor Carlin who had seen Karthikeyan race in Formula 3.

"Obviously Carlin was very impressed with my driving as he has been following my progress since I was racing in Formula-3," the fastest Indian on wheels said.

"Carlin knows my potential and realistically speaking I and my sponsors like Tata, JK Tyres, Speed and Red Bull were waiting for the right opportunity and I think the right time has come for me to plunge into the race", he added.

"Lot of hard work has gone into my dream of becoming a Formula-1 driver and I am happy that Team Jordan has offered their number one driver spot," said Karthikeyan who had previously test driven for Jordan, Jaguar and Minardi.

In fact, he was offered to drive for Minardi in 2003 but missed out as he was unable to raise the huge sum required to secure the offer.

"There have been ups and downs but when I sit back and think about it, I should say it was worth every effort as I never imagined that my dream of driving in F-1 would be realised so soon," the Chennai lad said.

PTI

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