HRT confirm Karthikeyan in team for 2011

2011 F1 season

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Narain Karthikeyan, Williams, 2007

HRT has confirmed Narain Karthikeyan will drive for the team in 2011.

Team principal Colin Kolles said:

It is a great pleasure for us to have signed Narain Karthikeyan as our race driver for the 2011 Formula 1 World Championship.

I have known Narain for a long time and he can revert to the experiences he gained when he was competing for Jordan Grand Prix and being test and reserve driver for Williams F1. Narain has also been driving in other racing series and running in one of the legendary Audi sports cars in the Le Mans Series.

I am sure that his experience and speed will be very useful for the team during the season. We are welcoming Narain to our team and we look forward to working closely with him this year.
Colin Kolles

Karthikeyan added:

It’s been a while in the making, but I am extremely happy to be racing again in Formula 1 in 2011.

I have always maintained that I have not given up on my desire to return to the pinnacle of world motorsport. I am confident that I still have the pace, the fitness and the will to succeed in Formula 1.

I’m looking forward to racing for Hispania Racing, and to working again with Dr. Colin Kolles. We have a long standing and excellent working relationship together. I’m also looking forward to racing at the first ever Indian Grand Prix in October, and I hope that the Indian public will spur me on with their blessings and good wishes.
Narian Karthikeyan

View the list of 2011 F1 drivers and teams.

    Image © Williams/LAT

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    128 comments on “HRT confirm Karthikeyan in team for 2011”

    1. He’s looking forward to the Indian GP, he will probably be replaced by someone like Ralph Firman! Why is it that only bad drivers bring sponsorship because thats clearly the only thing HRT is looking for.

      Does noone else bring any sponsorship, someone good?

      1. Well it is said that Di Grassi has pretty solid funding and Duchman Van der Garde is supposed to have an interesting bag of money speaking for him, LOL.

        With HRT, they are probably still collecting enough to get a car out at all before the season gets going. So actually them signing a driver with a good “commercial package” is very hopefull. Lets just hope it does not end like USF1 did last year after signing Lopez with Argentinian money.

        Still it might be some fun watching Karthikeyan again turning a wheel in F1.

        1. Van der Garde gave up on the idea to drive F1 next year and is focussing on GP2. He signed again for Barwa Addax. He just needs to become champion to have his chances upped!

          1. So next year, after he wins (if he wins) GP2 he will be the premier candidate for the HRT drive, LOL great prospect.

            1. Time may come when we will pay 1000$ and will get a lap in HRT car….

              I may get a job at HRT for this idea. lol

        2. jimscreechy (@)
          7th January 2011, 11:05

          Personally I don’t think HRT will even make the grid with a new car. I bet they will have last years care on the 2011 grid, and I dont’ think they will make it to the end of the season.

        3. It won’t be another USF1, because in a worst case scenario HRT can just run last year’s car with some minor updates to comply with the 2011 specs. Of course I suppose it’s possible that they won’t even accomplish that…

          1. I agree, They remind me very much of Minardi, Which is one reason I can’t understand why people don’t like them. I’m mean sure, they are as slow as… a budgie. But at least they are giving it a shot. I mean, Toyota amongst others pulled out when things got slightly harder, So if HRT thought like them, they wouldn’t even attempt to survive next year.

            1. I can totally understand Kolles picking Narian, He has money, which for them is a necessity. He also has experience (even if it’s of going slowly), something that is incredibly hard to find.

          2. If they do manage to accomplish that surely the 107% rule will reduce them to nothing more than quali at each race… which will lead to sponsors leaving and a car sat in a garage going nowhere.

            If they really do have a major sponsor to reveal I hope to god that they pay the cash to Toyota to use the TF110 for this season

      2. Why should we have cheap pay drivers. I’m an Indian, but I firmly believe that he had his fair shot at F1 and failed. He was thrashed by Taigo Montiero. Noob does not deserve drive. Anyone else agree??

        1. I disagree. In races that both of them finished, Monteiro was ahead 7-6. And usually the lower placed driver was only one or two places back. Yes, Monteiro did better over the course of the season, but Narain was faster from the get go. In the end there wasn’t too much between them.

      3. Good Drivers want to be paid… Apu Karthikeyan doesn’t (doesn’t he look like Apu? Chandook doesn’t…So that will be fun…Let’s get Moe in too, he could sell his bar…

        1. Or Monty Burns, I’m sure he has the cash. He may need some fitness training, but he has the cash for that too….

          1. How about Sylvester Stallone? He may be old but he has the money and also did some training when filming “Driven”, that should be enough to be race fit.

            1. Or Schwarzneger, while we’re on the subject. If I saw Arnie coming up in my rear mirrors I’d get out of the way.

    2. I thought his days in F1 was over.. He’s back!? Hmmmm Do you think he can still drive? To the wall? :)

      1. He can literally drive the wheels off that HRT

        1. dyslexicbunny
          7th January 2011, 19:31

          But that’s already been done this past season Tod. He’s gotta do something new. Rear wing fly away? Transmission falls out?

        2. Between Buemi and Rosberg, They have got that down pretty well already…

          1. Let’s not forget Kubica! :P

      2. After this, HRT would be better with Badoer. Looooooooots more experience and despite no sponsorship drove two years ago, after all the 2009 regulations, and could develop the car.

    3. I’m sorry to say this but there goes another seat to a bad driver, while Nick Heidfeld and Nico Hulkenberg don’t have drives for next year…

      1. Heidfeld and Hulkenberg wouldn’t want to drive for HRT – Hulkenberg needs a midfield team (ie: Force India) to further impress. Heidfeld would only take a top drive, which, we all know, won’t happen now.

        Although I agree with your sentiments, a shame they are left on the sidelines, but if this pay driver money is keeping the team afloat, then I’d rather that than only 11 teams…

        1. I agree with you but this is the last of this trend of pay drivers and I don’t like it at all . It just adds to the frustration .

          1. It is very frustrating when you have drivers of the calibre of Heidfeld and Hulkenberg sitting on the side, but if they are necessary, then they have to do it…

      2. I’m sorry to say this but there goes another seat to a bad driver, while Nick Heidfeld and Nico Hulkenberg don’t have drives for next year…

        If Heidfeld and Hulkenberg don’t have drives, then that’s their own stupid fault. Heidfeld had his heart set on a Mercedes drive, and didn’t both speaking to anyone until after Schumacher was confirmed there, leaving him with no options. He might have made a comeback with Sauber, but he admitted to struggling with the heavy cars. He’s only got a season in him at the most – he can’t race forever – so it’s probably better to quit with his dignity intact.

        As for Hulkenberg, he was offered a seat at Hispania, and decided not to taken it. Instead, he’s tryig to get a drive at either Force India or Toro Rosso – the only teams left with any (official) vacancies, and both of which have close relationships with all their drivers. He’s the architect of his own destruction.

        1. Slightly harsh, but to some extents I agree, Heidfeld felt he had done enough to prove himself in midfield teams, so set his sights on top team or bust. In the end it came to bust. He just isn’t interested in driving at the back anymore, which is understandable.

          Hulkenberg will get more from a third driver role at Force India than a race driver at HRT – think Hakkinen at McLaren 1993.

          1. Unfortunately the new in-season testing ban means Hulkenberg won’t see too much action behind the wheel as a test driver. It’s a shame really. He could do brilliantly after a period of apprenticeship at a top team, like Massa in ’05.

            1. Except that Force India was the team that gave the most time behind the wheel to their 3rd driver, so as far as test/reserve driver seats go, Force India is probably the one to land.

            2. True, but I don’t know how much good all those free practice sessions did for Paul di Resta, career-wise. If Force India give di Resta a race seat this year, I’ll agree with you.

        2. Soumya Banerjee
          7th January 2011, 12:54

          Heidfeld talented? Wow how many more chances does he have to be given? He is simply not fast enough,even if he manages to take his car to the finish line usually. And he doesnt have age on his side either.
          As for Hulkenberg,it is a shame. This pay driver trend is making me turn away from F1. I hope no more nasty surprises are in store.

          1. I disagree, I think he has acheived everything asked of him at every team. Finishes nearly every race, beaten nearly every team-mate!

            1. People keep arguing about Heidfeld vs Kubica, So I think that says a lot for how good Heidfeld is.

    4. Now everyone will have to remember how to say and pronounce his name again, for all of what will end up being about 4 races. And for some reason he seems to think that just because he has a seat at HRT in January dosen’t mean he’ll have a seat at HRT come Sunday, 30th October. Unless Bernie’s had a word.

      1. Irritaiting that we loose Chandock for this wally,I’m suprised more companies haven’t come to Chandocks support considering his popularity.

        1. From what Peter Windsor says, Chandhok is still in the best position to get 3rd driver role at Team Lotus:

          … that India’s other leading driver, Karun Chandhok, is on the verge of agreeing a third driver deal with Tony Fernandes’ Lotus Racing – a contract that would include two races appearances in 2011 (at the Indian Grand Prix and also at the preceding Korean GP).

          Very possibly a more interesting postion to be in and he might end up driving just as much miles as Narain (car break downs in FP and failing to make the 107%, and all)

          1. Here is a link, his piece sounds like it might be based on solid information

            1. The Chandhok quotes in this Autosport article would seem to be in line with Windsor’s article. Hope that happens, it would be great to see him on the grid at the inaugural Indian GP, with potential for a 2012 seat full time.


    5. it’s such a shame that sponsorship money is more important to the teams than talent.

      1. Whats a bigger shame is the lack of knowledge on the part of these corporates. They should do a little research, or hire people who are good at allocating sponsorship funds. Karthikeyan’s career is dead, while Chandhok, a marginally more promising driver, has just begun his career in F1.

        But anyone who is familiar with the way TATA works, will know that their ignorance in this matter comes as no surprise.

        1. Oh, and you’re familiar with how Tata works?

          Seriously, if you are I’d like to know. Not being sarcastic here.

          1. Apparently there are two factions in India when it comes to motor racing, one supported Karthikeyan and the other Chandhok. So I’m not too surprised they passed over Chandhok, it was probably for political reasons.

          2. Yes. I was working for TCS (Tata Consultancy services) for a year. I really do not want to get into the details of how that organisation is running.

    6. HounslowBusGarage
      7th January 2011, 9:03

      I just had to check his age again. He’s 33 already. Am I right in thinking that he hasn’t actually raced F1 since 2005?
      He must have brought a mighty big cheque with him.

      1. Yep, 2005 with Jordan – opposite Tiago Monteiro. The only thing I remember of the two, was that it was Monteiro that seized the opportunity of a third place when it was gifted in America, not Narain.

        1. and Monteiro finished every race that season and also had one more points finish than *current HRT driver whose name I won’t bother trying to spell*

          1. Every race? Wow! I knew it was a lot, I thought it was more like all bar 1! That’s very impressive though, wish he was given another chance!

            1. It was all bar one, Tiago retired in Brazil.

            2. Cheers David, I feel like I just won a quiz…

            3. He was given another chance, sort of. Monteiro drove for Midland in ’06. A bad place to be for sure, but it was one step above Super Aguri with the modified ’02 Arrows chassis!

    7. I can’t help but think that the Indian GP will be bringing the team massive sponsorship because of Karthikeyan.

      Personally, as nice a chap as i’m sure he is, I don’t think he’s the right choice for the team. At least keeping Yamamoto (I know he’s useless!) would have given the illusion of stability, but, as others have alluded to, it looks nothing more than a round-a-bout now!

      1. Given how much Sakon was supposedly paying, I doubt he could afford another season…

    8. I’ll repeat my pondering from yesterday (comment of the day no less ;) ) about the identity of his team-mate.

      My guess is another pay driver…

      1. Ricardo Rosset!!

        1. Pedro Lamy!

    9. I never thought I would say it about any team, but I wish HRT would just fold and go away. At least Lotus carried themselves well and have a clear target and look like their on the right track. Virgin are trying something different with the CFD, where as HRT are just a joke

      1. Agree. Stefan GP should have got that last entry instead of HRT

        1. Stefan GP were not a serious outfit, they were just as much a game of smoke and mirrors as USF1, though you have to give whoever did their PR points for making everyone thing they were serious.

      2. I’d like to see you take over a team at the 11th hour, inheriting a terrible car, no facilities, two complete rookies with little or no budget and still mange to complete all the races and compete the next year.

        I suspect the way your thinking works, is that your favourite driver is the one who is winning.

        1. I think the point that Adam is trying to make, is that teams started at the last minute, with a terrible car, no facilities, two complete rookies and no budget, do not deserve to be in the sport… or are a ‘joke’. He has a very valid point.

          1. explain “deserve”.

            Personally, I like the underdog to be given a fair crack.

            1. I actually think he said that while the three teams have started with a similar hand, HRT have not managed to end up with a convincing case that their approach / goal / work / results is on par with the others.

    10. Hindu’s Ride Tata?

      1. Hindu is a word used to denote people of a parcticular religion called hinduism. Just like “christians”, “muslims”…etc. It is not a nationality.
        Country: India
        Nationality: Indian
        Language: Hindi (nothing related to “hindu”, it just happens to be what it is called)
        Capital: New Delhi

        These are the correct terms.

        1. About 40% of Indians woud say Hindi is their first language. English is the second official language. Languages such as Bengali, Kashmiri and Punjabi (and many more) are official languages in the states of India aswell.

        2. Just to be sure: no offence meant.

          If Christijan Albers signed, I would call them Hose Riding Turds, or Holland Rampen Team (Ramp = disaster). And Holland is just part of my country, which is called the Netherlands, but it’s just known that way.

          And yes, it was a lame joke…

          1. Nice ones with Albers, what about Holland Rings Trouble?

            By the way i just had a flash of brilliance, what if Tony Fernandes would rename his team “Golden Tulip” and paint the cars Green with gold.
            The name should be available cheaply, after all the hotel chain went bust a couple of years ago and all of us would know which flower he ment.

    11. So, with Tata sponsorship, does that mean that Hispania’s full name is now (wait for it!) …


      Read into that what you will …

      1. Brilliant! Very impressive! You should do more!

        1. Very nice :)

      2. Wow, looks like HRT is thriving!

        LOL, nice one Ajokay.

      3. So that’s where The Stig went…

      4. dyslexicbunny
        7th January 2011, 19:37

        Nice work ajokay. Looks great.

      5. That cracks me up! Well done.

      6. ithink it would be more realistic if it was just the shed

    12. Shumacher is the most succesfull driver in history, 3 years out of F1 and he isn’t that good (yet). But Karthikeyan 6 years out of F1 hmmmmm…

      1. Haha very good point Nixon, That about sums the whole thing up!!

        1. I guess they have to change the 107% rule to a 170% rule to make sure Karthikeyan gets to race.

          1. I guess they have to change the 107% rule to a 170% rule


    13. Karthikeyan must be bringing with him full bag of money. Didn’t HRT find a younger driver with money? He is quite old and doesn’t have much experience like drivers like Pedro de la Rosa and Nick Heidfeld, which still doesn’t have a seat in F1. Now I lost hope that someday my compatriot Kazim Vasiliauskas will drive in F1, because I don’t think he will ever have so much money like these talentless guys.

    14. A Black Hole would suck less!!!!!!

      1. Oh snap!

      2. Black holes, unlike their common image, do not act as “cosmic vacuum cleaners” any more than other stars. The collapse of a star into a black hole is an explosive process, which means, according to Mass–energy equivalence, that the resulting black hole would be of lower mass than its parent object, and actually have a weaker gravitational pull.

    15. Since nobody else said it I will. He got this ride based on his NASCAR stuff from 2010. Now no I’m not a NASCAR fan trying to start trouble I’m serious, he won the 2010 NASCAR Truck Series “Most Popular Driver Award” and it was reported that like 98% of the votes for him originated out of India. There is no doubt in my mind that he used that data of that many people from his home country voting for him combined with the fact that there will be a GP there this year to somehow convince a sponsor step-up and buy him an F1 ride for next year.

      1. It really puts a big giant hole in Bernie’s wish that countries were run more like businesses and F1 being run so is a good thing. Because this is exactly business thinking. Take a look at McDonald’s, they’re never going to produce the finest food so they have seasonal gimmicks or meals that have movie themes to entice people to buy their stuff. Same thing here: having a good driver will do sod all for HRT, so they’re getting a cash cow.

      2. Actually James Allen has picked up on that as well. He even make a nice cheeky comment about that:

        To the best of my knowledge he’s the first driver ever to go from that series to F1 the following year, although Nelson Piquet Jr made the opposite move recently.

        It seems Narain has been considered in 2010 as well, but decided against it to see weather the team would actually survive:

        “I’ve been in discussion with HRT for a long time. Originally we had discussed the possibility of me driving for them in 2010, but I felt that it was not the opportunity I was looking for at that time, as the team was new in F1, and still an unproven one.”

        1. team was new in F1, and still an unproven one.

          …and somehow they’re proven now? The only thing they’ve proven is that they can’t compete.

    16. I’m less interested in HRT’s new driver signings and more interested in a more pressing question: what exactly are they doing about a car for next year?

      1. Modifying this year’s last I read…

        Which might not be such a bad thing as at least they’ll know how to set it up…

    17. This feels very USF1 and I doubt they’ll make it to the end of the season.

    18. Perhaps it was his NASCAR truck racing experience that got him the race seat? He’d be at a major advantage compared to other drivers when getting into the HRT, I guess…

      1. Is that turn right, right, right, right or turn left, left, left, left. I can’t remember. Surely he deserves a seat for remembering all of that.

    19. HIspania are a joke, they have no place in the pinicle of motorsport

    20. I liked Narain at Jordan. At least he had some guts and wasn’t afraid to ring the neck of that heap of a car.

      I remember Martin Brundle complementing Narain on his aggression and raw speed but also being critical of his impetuousnous and lack of consistency.

      Perhaps he’ll be more refined now after racing in other types of cars. I say give the guy a chance.

      I’d rather see chandhok back though. He was showing Senna the way until he ran out of money and listening to him on the TV and Radio he is clearly a very pleasant guy with a genuine racing passion and knowledge.

      At the end of the day, if you only get a handful of races in a Jordan or a HRT you’re not getting a fair crack of the whip and to castigate drivers on this basis is just daft.

      1. It really is a pity we won’t see Chandhok drive in 2011. However if it means he gets a far more competitive drive with Team Lotus in 2012, I’m all for it.

        Assuming we’re all still alive then, of course!

        1. we will be alive till the end of the 2012 season.

          don’t forget the magic date dec 21st 2012


    21. He finished ahead of Monterio in that 2005 season,with same no.of retirements as that of his team technicaly he is not bad driver…but let me sat one thing guyz,why not the HRT team should go for a pay driver (or someone bringing some bucks to keep the team running!)…

      i mean,put vettel or alonso in that HRT car,no wonder if it’s capable of just finishing the races,,4-5 laps down!
      then why put a pro in that car?

    22. For sure he racing will boost the ticket sales of the Indian GP this year.

    23. Well, with many drivers who pay for the drive or bring the sponsors you can easily say that at least they have some talent. Perez, Maldonado and Petrov are good, recent examples of those. But I can’t say same about Karthikeyan, who is in my opinion, only selected to drive because of his money.

      1. It makes me wonder how come the likes of Karthikeyan and Yamamoto manage to keep getting the sponsor dollars – despite having had a crack at F1 and proved themselves to be nothing special – and drivers like Hulkenberg who have proven themselves to have more natural talent don’t seem to attract any.

    24. have reported that Senna and Chandhok will not be considered for next year.


    25. I’m getting sick of the complaints about “drivers like him” getting a drive whereas Hülkenberg does not. Hülkenberg did not have a good season at all in 2010 and did not show any kind of talent which would make him an enrichment for the series, and I am saying that as a German, just to remove any thought of bias. Does he truly deserve a seat because he did two, note two, extremely good laps?
      Give me 10 minutes and I am sure I can find two very good laps of Karthikeyan and show that he “deserves” his F1 seat. People these days…

      And this is me saying this, who doubts Narain Karthikeyan will do good at all. But he has sponsorship, Weber is too stupid to get some for Hülkenberg, so he got what was coming to him. Geez, you people…

      1. Does he truly deserve a seat because he did two, note two, extremely good laps?

        Hülkenberg showed his potential on more occasions than just qualifying in Brazil. If you read Williams’ statement from when they dropped him it’s pretty clear they’d rather have kept him.

      2. Hulkenberg, as most people agree had a respectable season alongside the most experienced driver in the sport. He was generally pretty close to Barrichello in terms of pace (especially outside of the first few races) and of course did set pole in Brazil.

        Karthikeyan was soundly whipped by Tiago Montiero and suffered that embarrassing crash in Shanghai. He’s clearly just a pay driver. And not even young like Petrov.

        1. Karthikeyan was soundly whipped by Tiago Montiero and suffered that embarrassing crash in Shanghai. He’s clearly just a pay driver. And not even young like Petrov.

          7-12 in qualifying and 6-7 in races where both finished … if that is “soundly whipped”, then Hülkenberg does not look better. Although, on second thought, that comparison is unfair, since Barrichello is quite some leauges above Monteiro, so Hülkenberg did actually look quite well, although I still believe he is rated way too high.

          And it is not like I would hate it if Hülkenberg was to get a seat in F1, but my problem was that some posts were quite aggressive (including my uncivilized response) and so I felt a bit offended, since in my opinion it’s not like it would be a offense to F1 itself that he has another shot like many people try to paint it. Pay drivers always were and presumably always will be a part of motor racing.

          Well, my mistake and I should think twice before posting. I’m sorry.

          1. People keep talking about Hulkenberg because he looks like being the most high-profile casualty this year, and nobody likes to see talented drivers sat on the sidelines while those who are perceived to be less deserving pay their way into the sport. There are probably more drivers who “deserve” an F1 seat than there are available spaces anyway, so pay drivers just make the situation worse.

        2. Hulkenberg, as most people agree had a respectable season alongside the most experienced driver in the sport.

          …the most experienced driver in the history of the sport.

    26. Wonder if pay drivers for one off Grand Prix will become more often. Chandhok for India, Fittipaldi in Brazil, Mansell at Silverstone, Patrese at Monza Andretti for USA.
      Starting to think Ferrari’s third car is a good idea!

    27. HRT are going the right way about ******* F1 fans off. I appreciate this is a financial move for the greater good of the team blah blah blah. But as a fan I want consistency and faces I can relate to. I’m all for new teams but HRT are embarassing themselves.

      1. Here, Here!

        If F1 is the pinnacle of Motor Sport, then everything about the drivers should be based on quality, ability, merit…

        If HRT do not have the money, then tough S***. They should not be competing. We lower the standards in the sport, (and as previously stated) where is the incentive for a young kart and GP racer to follow his dreams to become F1 racing driver?


      “[We get on] OK, but not like we did a month ago. He is just management, so I really don’t have to have a conversation with him.”

      Narain about Kolles back in 2005 :)

      1. It can’t have been too bad. Kolles did hire him to drive for his Le Mans team in 2009 after all.

    29. HRT = joke. first post since abu dhabi, happy new year and welcome f1 2011.
      i ve missed you.

    30. I honestly can’t understand why Narain is facing so much heat in the comments here. He wasn’t exactly bad. At the start of the ’05 season, he was the fastest rookie. He finished ahead of Monteiro in 6 of the 13 races that both of them finished.

      And lets not forget he was driving a year old EJ14 that had been brought to ’05 regs and had undergone a cut and paste to swap a Cosworth engine for a Toyota. Plus it was the worst season to be on Bridgestone tyres. If it hadn’t been for the US grand prix, Ferrari would have finished behind Toyota. Does that mean MSC drove worse than Trulli in ’05?

      1. Nahrain has been out for 6 years this year… the most similar situation to compare him to is the legend himself. If Schumi can’t keep up in a good car how on earth is Nahrain going to acheive anything in last years car with some new bits?

      2. Does that mean MSC drove worse than Trulli in ’05?

        No, since MSC finished 19 points ahead of Trulli ;)

    31. HounslowBusGarage
      7th January 2011, 20:40

      I’ve had a great idea!
      If you all give me a tenner each, I should be able to drive for HRT at Monza!

    32. HRT:
      Horrid Racing Talent
      Hurrendous Race Tactics
      Hugely Retarded T**ts

      Give up… sell your entry to someone with some balls!!

      1. This decision made by HRT/F1 is not about the gullible supporters, it is just about money and greed, it is just that simple. There are no excuses and there are no justifications, so why are are people in this forum agreeing with what is clearly wrong?

        Bringing in crap, sponsored drivers destroys the real value and integrity of the sport. When a WDC lifts the trophy, should he not know that he has beaten the best in his sport? Why does the British Olympic Team not use the same system as HRT – possibly because it is a results rewarded sporting activity. Should F1 not be the same?

        What these idiots are doing at HRT is providing a glorified F1 Driving Experience that lasts the entire racing Season for one individual with lots of money. HRT will not be developing the car based on this waste of breathing space with lots of Rupees, and therefore, I feel sorry for the real racing talent that is being passed over.

        I really love F1, but this is really S***!

    33. Repoprts suggest Chandhok actually turned HRT down. It’s only gpupdate but they’re pretty reliable. So that means either a testing role (Lotus is the usual one bandied around), or an outside chance at Force India? Mallya didn’t sound too impressed with him though and he’s got at least two better drivers to compete with for a seat.

      1. Hit “Submit” early.

        Maybe Chandhok has seen how HRT operate and has no confidence in either keeping his seat or the team even surviving?

        Anyway I hope Karthikeyan comes back with his old aggression, at least that’s better than useless Yamamoto trundling around. He might even be handy. Doubt it though.

        Plus it looks like Senna isn’t driving for HRT either. So who’s going there? Force India reject, or another name from nowhere like Lopez?

        1. From Kolles’ comments of not being in a rush to fill the seat and waiting to see where everyone lands, including existing contracted drivers who may end up without a seat, it sounds like he’s banking on Liuzzi bringing Force India money…

    34. Come on guys.. cut some slack here, will ya !!!

      Obviously he is returning after a long time, obviously he is going to drive for a backmarker and obviously he does not have a racing pedigree to boast of, but how many such 1-season guest appearances have made such a comeback, especially after such a long gap??

      And it’s not like the people at HRT are total dunces to make such a gamble, however absurd and illogical this decision of theirs may sound to us laymen??

      From what we have seen of him in 2005, he obviously was faster and aggressive than his teammate, who had managed to ‘beat him’ (so to say) by just about bringing the car to finish, though consistently I must admit, but was is it of any use?? Has Monteiro even raced in any other category after that??

      And as mentioned by the commentator in the Japanese GP 2005 QF (I think), that Narain was one of the better wet weather drivers of the lot. All this must mean that this guy does have some talent… But I am skeptical whether he can show the same in a HRT ???

      Anyways… let him drive with a decent car and then we’ll judge… I am sure he can perform better than Sutil or Liuzzi given a car like FI..

      NOTE: For the record, I am strictly against pay drivers and this whole thing… but its a reality we all have to live with !!! You and me don’t run F1, do we :) ???

    35. I am surprised by HRT’s decision by hiring a driver who has spent six years away from the sport, but in terms of investment in the team it makes sense. You only have to look at what happened to Nico Hulkenberg at Williams. He claims the team’s first pole position for years with a brilliant drive in Brazil and then is promptly dropped for Maldonado. The simple equation is that Maldonado brings with him millions of dollars in sponsorship to Williams, a once great team but one that is now struggling and desperate for investment. This is not the Williams team of Nigel Mansell’s era or even Juan Pablo Montoya, those days have come and long gone for this team.
      In essence when we look at Bruno Senna even the most optomistic fan would have to say 2010 for the rookie exposed too many weaknesses in the Brazilian. You only have to look back two years to the transition from the Honda F1 team to Brawn Gp. Senna’s name was brought up as a potential driver for the team, the opportunity was there for Ross Brawn to use him if he saw enough potential. In the end, Ross chose the experience of Barrichello over Senna at that in itself speaks volumes.
      At the end of the day I fear HRT are going to find 2011 even more tougher than 2010, no matter who they have driving their race cars. New teams entering F1 never had it easy, even in the years of testing and allowing young drivers to knock out track miles.
      Personally, I don’t buy the argument that drivers can progress just using fancy simulators. David Coulthard was right last year by suggesting that new drivers need as many test miles as possible in order to prepare for F1, I am convinced that the testing ban is a huge handicap to bringing fresh talent into F1.

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