Narain Karthikeyan (Race Car Driver) – Overview, Biography

Name:Narain Karthikeyan
Occupation: Race Car Driver
Birth Day: January 14,
Age: 43
Country: India
Zodiac Sign:Capricorn

Narain Karthikeyan

Narain Karthikeyan was born on January 14, 1977 in India (43 years old). Narain Karthikeyan is a Race Car Driver, zodiac sign: Capricorn. Nationality: India. Approx. Net Worth: Undisclosed.


His first Formula One race was the 2005 Australian Grand Prix.

Net Worth 2020

Find out more about Narain Karthikeyan net worth here.


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Before Fame

He attended Stanes Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School in Coimbatore, India.


Biography Timeline


Karthikeyan was born in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. He did his schooling at Stanes Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School in Coimbatore. His interest in motorsport began at an early age, as his father was a former Indian national rally champion winning South India Rally seven times. With the ambition of becoming India’s first Formula One driver, Karthikeyan finished on the podium in his first ever race, at Sriperumpudur in a Formula Maruti (a.k.a. FISSME). He then went on to the Elf Winfield Racing School in France, showing his talent by becoming a semi-finalist in the Pilote Elf Competition for Formula Renault cars in 1992. He returned to India to race in Formula Maruti for the 1993 season, and in the same year, he also competed in the Formula Vauxhall Junior championship in Great Britain. This gave him valuable experience in European racing, and he was keen to return for the following year.


In 1994, he returned to the UK, racing in the Formula Ford Zetec series as the number two works Vector driver for the Foundation Racing team. The highlight of the season was a podium finish in a support race for the Portuguese Grand Prix held at Estoril. He also took part in the British Formula Ford Winter Series, and became the first Indian driver to win any championship in Europe.


In 1995, Karthikeyan graduated to the Formula Asia Championship for just four races. However, he showed pace immediately and was able to finish second in the race at Shah Alam, Malaysia. In 1996, he had a full season in the series and became the first Indian and the first Asian to win the Formula Asia International series. He moved back to Britain in 1997 to compete in the British Formula Opel Championship with the Nemesis Motorsport team, taking a pole position and win at Donington Park and finishing sixth in the overall points standings.


In 1998, Karthikeyan made his debut in the British Formula 3 Championship with the Carlin Motorsport team. Competing in only 10 rounds, he managed two third-place finishes in the final two races of the season, at Spa-Francorchamps and Silverstone, to finish 12th overall. He continued in the championship for 1999, finishing on the podium five times, including two wins at Brands Hatch. His season also included two pole positions, three fastest laps and two lap records, helping him to sixth in the championship. He also competed in the Macau Grand Prix, qualifying in sixth position and finishing sixth in the second race. He was the first racing driver to record a win for Carlin in British F3 ever since then Carlin have been invincible in terms of race wins in the British F3 Championship. Continuing his drive in the British F3 Championship in 2000, he finished fourth overall in the standings, and also took pole position and fastest laps in the Macau Grand Prix. He also won both the International F3 race at Spa-Francorchamps and the Korea Super Prix.


Karthikeyan started 2001 in the Formula Nippon F3000 Championship, finishing the year amongst the top ten. In the same year, he became the first Indian to ever drive a Formula One car, testing for the Jaguar Racing team at Silverstone on 14 June. Impressed with his performance, he was then offered a test drive in the Jordan-Honda EJ11 at Silverstone in September. Karthikeyan again tested for Jordan, at Mugello in Italy on 5 October, finishing just half a second off the pace off Jordan’s lead driver Jean Alesi.


In 2002, he moved into the Telefónica World Series with Team Tata RC Motorsport, taking a pole position and setting the fastest non-Formula One lap time at the Interlagos Circuit in Brazil. Continuing in the renamed Superfund World Series in 2003, Karthikeyan won two races and took three other podium positions on his way to fourth overall in the championship. These results earned 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, taking wins in Valencia, Spain and Magny-Cours, France.


On 1 February 2005, Karthikeyan announced that he had signed a preliminary deal with the Jordan Formula One team and said that he would be their main driver for the 2005 Formula One season, making him India’s first Formula One racing driver. His partner was Portuguese driver Tiago Monteiro. Karthikeyan completed the necessary testing distance of 300 km in an F1 car in order to gain his superlicence at the Silverstone Circuit on 10 February.

In his first race, the Australian Grand Prix, Karthikeyan qualified in 12th position. After a poor start which saw him drop to 18th place by the end of the first lap, he finished in 15th, two laps behind winner Giancarlo Fisichella. He achieved his first points in the 2005 United States Grand Prix where all but three teams pulled out due to an argument over tyre safety. He finished fourth, finishing ahead of the two Minardi drivers but behind teammate Monteiro. Apart from the USGP, his highest finish was 11th place. In the 2005 Japanese Grand Prix free practice, he was fastest for a long period and eventually qualified 11th. At the 2005 Chinese Grand Prix he qualified in 15th place. In an unlucky end to his 2005 season, Karthikeyan crashed his Jordan into a wall at the Chinese race, but was unhurt and able to provide an interview afterwards.

On 8 December 2005, Karthikeyan tested for Williams at Spain and finished fifth, outpacing the confirmed Williams second driver, Nico Rosberg, who finished ninth. On 27 January 2006, Williams confirmed Karthikeyan as their fourth driver. He was to perform testing duties for the team alongside Alexander Wurz who had been confirmed earlier as the team’s third driver. He was retained as a reserve test driver for Williams alongside Kazuki Nakajima in 2007. Karthikeyan said he was “blown away” by the difference between Formula One’s stragglers and a top-flight team.

In 2005, Karthikeyan tested an Indy Racing League (IRL) car for the Red Bull Cheever Racing team for the Indianapolis 500 race and was offered $500,000 as an initial fee, but the deal was not completed.


Later in 2007, he was linked with the Spyker (previously Jordan) Formula One team after their driver Christijan Albers was fired, although Sakon Yamamoto got the drive. Due to the withdrawal of support of Williams F1 by Tata (Karthikeyan’s main sponsor), Nakajima was given the lion’s share of testing duties and Karthikeyan was sidelined.

In 2007 season Karthikeyan also drove for A1 Team India. He made his A1 GP debut in New Zealand and he finished 10th in the sprint race and 7th in the Feature Race.

Karthikeyan won the A1GP of Zhuhai (China) for Team India on 16 December 2007. This was India’s first A1GP win. Karthikeyan is also the first to take pole position for India in the A1GP. He got pole in the feature race in Brands Hatch in 2008. Karthikeyan won two feature races in the 2007–2008 season, including the season finale at Brands Hatch starting from pole position. This helped India finish in the top ten, ahead of such as Australia, Brazil, China and Italy.


When the Spyker F1 team was bought out by Vijay Mallya towards the end of 2007, Karthikeyan had been linked with a drive with the new Force India Formula One team in 2008. However, he did not even get to test for the team. He was also linked to a drive with the Super Aguri team in January 2008, as one of the terms of an Indian consortium investing in the team. The deal was not agreed and he continued to drive for A1 Team India. He was India’s only Formula One driver until the 2010 season, when Karun Chandhok signed to drive for the Hispania Racing F1 Team.


The 4th season for Team India was disastrous as the team lost its title sponsor, which resulted in severe financial constraints. On 3 May 2009 A1 Team India finished the season with a podium finish in the Sprint Race at Brands Hatch. Karthikeyan qualified the A1 Team India car in 7th place on the starting grid for the race. The Feature Race ended abruptly for Karthikeyan, as he was taken out by the spinning car of A1 Team China in front of him on the first corner of the first lap.

In the second week of March 2009, Karthikeyan tested for the Kolles Le Mans Team. It was later confirmed that for the 2009 season, he will be partnered by Christijan Albers. Team Kolles – headed by ex-Force India Team Principal Colin Kolles – will be taking part in the championship with two Audi R10 turbo diesel machines. The car boasts a successful racing history with three Le Mans 24h victories and 22 individual race wins to its name. Team Kolles joins the championship for the first time in 2009.

On 11 May 2009, Karthikeyan finished sixth in his first ever Le Mans series race while driving for the Kolles Audi team in the second round of the 2009 championship held at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium. On 14 June 2009 Karthikeyan dislocated his shoulder in a fall just before the start of the race. He had come up with strong performances in the practice and the qualifying, and was scheduled to do the opening double stint. At 1:00 am the ACO organisation declared him unsuitable to drive, even though the Audi doctor approved it.


Karthikeyan made his NASCAR debut at Martinsville Speedway on 27 March 2010 driving in the Kroger 250 Camping World Truck Series for Wyler Racing in the #60 Safe Auto Insurance Company Chevrolet Silverado. Qualifying was rained out and the field set by 2009 owner points, putting the first Indian-born driver to compete in NASCAR in the 11th starting spot. After a slow start and coming to grips with driving a race truck and racing on an American oval short track for the first time, Karthikeyan did manage to put in a very respectable effort and finished on the lead lap in 13th place. Karthikeyan went on to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Most Popular Driver Award for the 2010 season which was voted by the fans, becoming the first foreign-born driver to win the award.

Karthikeyan drove for the PSV Eindhoven team in SLF in 2010. He won the 2nd race at Brands Hatch, Great Britain and finished 16th in the Championship on 288 points, taking part in six of the twelve race weekends.


On 6 January 2011, Karthikeyan announced that he would drive for the Hispania team in the 2011 season, following five years away from active involvement in the championship. He confirmed the deal via his Twitter page, saying it would be a “dream come true to race in front of the home crowd in the Indian GP in October,” and adding that the support of financial backers Tata Group had been “instrumental”.

On 30 June 2011, Karthikeyan was replaced by Daniel Ricciardo for the remaining races of the season except the Indian Grand Prix but participated in Friday first practice in Germany, Singapore, Japan and Korea.

On 23 October 2011, it was confirmed that Karthikeyan would replace Liuzzi for the Indian Grand Prix. Karthikeyan was outqualifed by 0.022 secs to qualify 22nd, however he started 24th and last due to blocking Michael Schumacher in qualifying. Despite picking up damage in the first lap of the race, Karthikeyan managed to beat Ricciardo by 31.8 seconds in the race to finish 17th. Liuzzi returned to replace Karthikeyan ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.


On 3 February 2012, it was confirmed that Karthikeyan had again signed for the HRT team for the 2012 season partnering Pedro de la Rosa. In the Australian Grand Prix, he and teammate Pedro de la Rosa were unable to qualify. In Malaysia, both the HRTs managed to qualify, with Karthikeyan starting 23rd due to a 5-place gear box penalty for Heikki Kovalainen, the start was wet and the HRTs gambled to start the race on full wet tyres, whilst the other cars started on intermediate tyres. As the rain increased that gamble paid off as other cars had to pit for full wets which promoted Karthikeyan to a points-paying tenth place before the safety car then red flag came out for heavy rain. At the restart, after a few more laps behind the safety car, the track was dry enough for intermediate tyres and a few drivers pitted as the safety car came back in, however Karthikeyan stayed out and was as high as 5th place at one point, before McLaren’s Jenson Button crashed into him whilst they were racing for position. Karthikeyan suffered damage however, but he pitted for intermediate tyres which dropped him to the back of the field, bar teammate de la Rosa who had a served a drive-through penalty. On lap 47, Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel received a puncture after hitting Karthikeyan’s front wing, whilst lapping him and Vettel was forced to pit and replaced the punctured tyre which put Vettel down from 4th place, finishing 11th; Karthikeyan finished the race in 21st, however he was given a 20-second post-race penalty for his part in the collision, which meant he dropped to 22nd and last, behind de la Rosa.


Karthikeyan drove for Zele Racing and Super Nova Racing in the Auto GP series in 2013. After switching from Zele Racing to Super Nova Racing, in the latter part of the series, he won 5 races and secure 4 pole positions and in the process finished 4th in the championship & became the highest points scorer in the second half of the season.


In 2014, Karthikeyan returned to the Japanese Top Formula series Super Formula for the first time since 2001 with the same Team IMPUL. In the 2015 season, Karthikeyan moved to Honda-powered Docomo Team Dandelion. Karthikeyan moved to Sunoco Team LeMans for the 2016 season after DoCoMo Dandelion Racing chose McLaren Honda F1 Reserve Stoffel Vandoorne.


In 2019, Karthikeyan raced with Nakajima Racing for one race, winning the Fuji Super GT x DTM Dream Race in Fuji, gaining the fastest lap during the race. He then raced with Modulo Epson NSX-GT Team for 8 races, gaining one podium.

🎂 Upcoming Birthday

Currently, Narain Karthikeyan is 45 years, 8 months and 12 days old. Narain Karthikeyan will celebrate 46th birthday on a Saturday 14th of January 2023.

Find out about Narain Karthikeyan birthday activities in timeline view here.

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