Formula One: Narain Karthikeyan Returns for 2011, Joins Hispania Racing

Alistair HunterContributor IJanuary 7, 2011

Narain Karthikeyan driving a 2005 Jordan Grand Prix car.
Narain Karthikeyan driving a 2005 Jordan Grand Prix car.Clive Mason/Getty Images

Hispania have confirmed that Indian Narain Karthikeyan will return to Formula One this season.

The Indian driver has not competed at this level of motorsport since 2005 with Jordan Grand Prix.

He said that he was "extremely happy to be racing again in Formula 1" in a statement on the official website of the Spanish team.

Karthikeyan also stated that he was confident that he still has "the pace, the fitness and the will to succeed in Formula 1."

While he can claim that he is the only Indian F1 driver to score any points, he only did so in the 2005 United States Grand Prix, where only six cars competed in the race.

His motorsport career has lasted 18 years, as he competed in several championships that included the British Formula 3 championship and the Formula Nissan World Series before moving to F1.

After he finished his first season with Jordan in 18th position in the 2005 championship, he became a test driver for Williams for two years before competing in the A1 Grand Prix series for three seasons, where he won two races in 2007-08.

In 2009, he competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Le Mans series with Colin Kolles' team before entering the Superleague Formula and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2010.

In Superleague Formula, he was able to help PSV Eindhoven finish sixteenth in the series after competing in six races where he won one.

He also finished 30th in the 2010 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, gaining 963 points from nine starts.

His partner at Hispania has not been announced, although Bruno Senna has been ruled out by the team principal.

I don't think this is going to do much for his career. If he performs well, another team slightly higher up the grid might go for him. But if he is rubbish, then he will probably never be in a competitive team.

Unfortunately, if this year's Hispania car turns out anything like the 2010 car, it will be very difficult to assess whether it is the car or driver who is performing badly.

Luckily, there are rumours flying around that suggest that Hispania may actually have some sort of competitive car this year.

However, the car won't be unveiled until after the testing sessions, so we won't know until the first race of the season.

Christian Klien looked better than Bruno Senna and did get some better results, but he has not been signed by any bigger team. One reason could be that they don't know how good he actually is.

If Narain wants a long career in Formula One, he will need some great performances this season and alot of money.