Narain Karthikeyan has been honoured with the prestigious Padma Shri award for his contribution in the field of Motorsport. He will be the first sportsperson from the motorsport fraternity to ever receive a Padmashree award.
Narain, a demon on the wet track, has raced in Formula One, motorsports’ highest class of auto racing, with Team Jordan in 2005. His best qualifying position was 11th (Japanese GP) and the best result was finishing 4th at United States GP. Narian’s talent and driving skill level were up with the best on the grid.
The following two years, he was a test driver for the Williams’ F1 team. In 2008, Narain raced in the A1GP series and managed to take victory at Brands Hatch. The year later, he continued racing in the A1GP series, besides taking part in the Le Mans Series with Team Kolles Audi.
Before his stint with the Jordan, this hugely talented driver had already become the first Indian to ever drive a Formula One car, testing for the Jaguar Racing team at Silverstone in 2001.
Born to a former Indian national rally champion, Narain’s motorsport career began at an early age. He started racing in the Formula Maruti championship, later graduating to Formula Renault, Formula Ford Zetec, Formula Asia Championship, British Formula Opel Championship and British F3 Championship.
In 2001 Karthikeyan raced in the Formula Nippon F3000 Championship and later moved on to Telefonica World Series and Superfund Word Series. Impressive race results handed him another Formula One test drive, this time with the Minardi team. He was offered a race drive for the 2004 season, but was unable to raise the necessary sponsorship funds to seal the deal. He continued in the Nissan World Series in 2004, after which he made his Formula One debut with Jordan.
Narain’s career peaked during November 2009, when he was ranked 103 amongst the world racing drivers. For his current Castrol Ranking click here.