Raghunathan’s private F1 test debut for Alfa Romeo a “great day”

2021 F1 season

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Former Formula 2 driver Mahaveer Raghunathan joined Alfa Romeo’s testing programme at the Hungaroring this week.

Alfa Romeo ran a 2019-specification C38 chassis at the circuit following the Hungarian Grand Prix for Sauber junior driver Theo Pouchaire, who is currently racing in Formula 2. Raghunathan, who attained notoriety during his single season in the same category two years ago, also participated in the test.

“I have been looking forward to my first F1 test for quite a long time and it turned out to be a great day with the Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen car,” said the 22-year-old, according to his long-time backer Rasheed Khan. “I have been preparing for this with the team for the past one week and I enjoyed a lot.”

Alfa Romeo did not release details of Raghunathan’s run but confirmed to RaceFans he conducted a private run in the team’s 2019 car. He is believed to have covered 71 laps, one more than a race distance at the home of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Prior to F2 Raghunathan’s previous experience included a season of Italian Formula 4 and a point-less 2015 Formula 3 campaign.

He then drove an ex-A1 Grand Prix Lola B05/52 chassis in two different series. He placed second in Auto GP’s final championship in 2016, though only two other drivers contested all six races, and was the secondary class champion in Boss GP the following year.

Raghunathan’s leap up into Formula 2 with MP in 2019 proved a step too far. Although he scored a single point, at Monza, he accrued far more penalties.

Raghunathan was banned from the Austrian round after collecting 12 penalty points on his licence within the first nine races. At the final round he reached 12 again following what the stewards described as “extremely dangerous behaviour”, but avoided another ban as the season had ended.

Images: Instagram

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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30 comments on “Raghunathan’s private F1 test debut for Alfa Romeo a “great day””

  1. Well, I guess someone has to pay the bills for the more promising drivers to be able to get a test.

    1. I hope it’s that. It’s kind of embarrassing to have Mahaveer Raghunathan testing and F1 car. He was literally the worse F2 driver I’ve ever seen complete a full season. I don’t want to sound like a hater, but he really was that bad.

      Reply moderated
    2. I’m kind of surprised the midfield teams don’t have a dedicated commercial arm to allow rich gentleman racers to test recent F1 cars. Given what people pay to race in GT cars, or to go privately into space, I’m sure there’s a whole bunch of people who aren’t pursuing an F1 career who would pay megabucks to have a dedicated day with an F1 team doing 50-100 laps in, say, a 2016 spec car (or whatever F1 teams are allowed to use without breaching testing rules). Obviously you would also have to give them some physical and technical training, but I would have thought it could be a money maker.

      1. @f1hornet Surprisingly, I think Ferrari are the only ones to offer anything close to that with their F1 Clienti programme, though I think there you actually buy the F1 car but it stays with them and you can ‘test’ it with them running and maintaining it.

  2. In the tone of Arrested Development: “Him?”

  3. Those are some deep pockets

  4. “So Mahaveer, how do you feel about your career being over?”
    “What you can’t take away from me is, I’ve had an absolutely lovely day”

  5. Let the memes begin!!!

  6. #lord mahaveer gonna get the Merc seat

    Reply moderated
  7. Great to see one of the biggest talents getting such an opportunity. Talent at fundraising, that is.

  8. Don’t tell me it’s going to be Lord Mahaveer and Theo next year for Alfa. Theo maybe because he is always going to have a seat at Alfa in the future. Lord Mahaveer, no. Just no.

    Reply moderated
  9. It’s nice to see teams looking into the future.

  10. for a moment I misread the title as another of Romesh’s odd but funny adventures, my bad.

  11. The most promising young talent since Chanoc Nissany ;)

  12. I had to do a double take then to make sure it wasn’t April 1st.

    1. I believed this but that Messi leaving Barca gave me those April 1st vibes

  13. I suppose any day he doesn’t crash is a great day for young Raghunathan.

  14. You can go ahead and remove the hyphen from the description of his Formula 3 campaign. Nobody will be offended.

    Reply moderated
  15. Broccoliface
    6th August 2021, 3:45

    Lol they don’t want to talk about it and want it to go away. They know it’s a sleazy arrangement.

  16. He is believed to have covered 71 laps, one more than a race distance at the home of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

    @keithcollantine – is that because he ignored the checkered flag again, like Bahrain? :)

  17. Is Raghunathan sponsored by a criminal organization? I cannot think of any other reason why Alfa Romeo would refuse to share more details! And throughout his career people have been unable to find out why he is the way he is and who is sponsoring him! Initially there were reports of an Indian car manufacturer sponsoring him, but the companies that refuse put in an additional air bag in cars to save costs is surely not gonna sponsor the money pit that is Raghunathan!

    Even to this day there is no clarity on where he gets his money from!

  18. I have an opinion
    6th August 2021, 6:26

    Alfa Romeo did not release details of Raghunathan’s run but he has been rumoured to have successfully completed a three-point turn.

  19. Holy cow. I thought that this article was some kind of click-bait prank. Guess not.

  20. Lol and the otherone they said he was the secon coming? but this is the scumbag i remembered? (forgot his name) just sedn him to the saltmines!

    1. Oh that is bad Second and send i wish for a edit button not i would be great with it but could fix some typo’s

  21. A small update to the article above – Alfa Romeo have now confirmed to us Raghunathan did a private test and it has been revised to reflect that.

  22. I don’t begrudge Rags the chance to have had a blast in an F1 car. The F1 2020 game and the likes of Josh Revell and Jimmy Broadbent have given him a kind of ‘cult status’ in motorsport.

    Good on him I say.

  23. The team must really need the money

  24. Being in India, being a fan of motor sports and particularly F1 since two decades, I have come across the names of Indian talents in driving across any publications, news etc. e.g. Karthikeyan, Chandhok, Armaan Ebrahim, Arjun and Kush Maini ,Gaurav Gill, and the Mallya protege, Jehan Daruvala among other notable names, forgive me for forgetting those on two wheels, but never have I heard of Mahaveer Raghunathan in the Indian Motorsports circle before he joined F2. There is something really fishy ,spooky , shady .. somewhat like that F1 team from Serbia that never happened.

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