Everybody loves to feel and experience the thrill of the speed of Formula 1 or F1 racing. The super-fast race cars with their speed and the sound of revving engines do give a rush of adrenalin to the spectators and also the fans watching on their screens. According to the report, 31 million Indians watch or rather follow F1 regularly. The even more staggering thing is this number puts India in the top-5 fan markets. Indian F1 racers have achieved many milestones in the global event and also inspired many young Indians to participate and make careers in this sport as well.
Despite the fan following, Formula 1 does need an infrastructure of extremely high quality, otherwise, it could be a disastrous sport. India does have an international quality circuit which is Buddh International Circuit in Noida, but it is not enough to encourage the sport on a larger scale. However, things aren’t as bleak as they seem. India has already produced quality Formula 1 racer and now a 3rd Indian racer is going to join Formula 1 spot after Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok. In this article, we will look at the F1 racers from India.
Top 3 Indian F1 Racers
Indian F1 Racer- Narain Karthikeyan
Narain Karthikeyan is a popular figure in the Indian sports world and almost every Indian sports follower knows him. Narain is the first Indian to participate in Formula 1 racing.
Narain had decided to be an F1 racer a long time ago when his father won South India Rally seven times. He started this professional racer’s journey in 1992 and this 45-year-old Tamil Nadu man is still active in the sport.
This racer played some prestigious races like the Portuguese Grand Prix, Formula Asia Championship, British Formula One Championship, Formula Nippon F3000 Championship, and Telefónica World Series and was quickly off the blocks.
In 2005, the moment came that he had been dreaming about since the start of his racing career. On 1 February 2005, Karthikeyan announced that he had signed a preliminary deal with the Jordan Formula One team. Remarkably, he was their main driver for the 2005 Formula 1 season and thus became the first Indian to play the F1. In 2005 Narain crashed his Jordan into a wall at the Chinese race but he was unhurt and even gave an interview after the crash.
The racer, in 2011, played for Hispania Racing F1 Team, and then in 2012 signed a contract with HRT Formula 1 team.
Other than Formula 1, Narain Karthikeyan has also raced in the IRL test, A1 GP, 24 Hours of Le Mans, NASCAR, Superleague Formula, Auto GP, Super Formula, and Super GT.
In 2010, this Tamil Nadu racer won the 2010 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Most Popular Driver Award.-- Advertisement --
Indian F1 Racer- Karun Chandhok
Karun Chandhok is a very versatile personality and among the best Indian F1 racers. He is an F1 analyst and co-commentator at a major F1 broadcasting channel in the UK. Karun is the brother of famous sports presenter Suhail Chandhok.
Karun then worked as a presenter and reporter for the TV audience. He even worked as a pit-lane reporter. He was a member of the Board of Directors of Motorsport UK, where he has also been a member of the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee.
Racing was in the blood of Karun, just like Narain Karthikeyan. Karun’s father is a multiple Indian rallying champion and president of the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India till 2013. In 2001, Karun became the youngest ever Asian Formula Champion, driving for Team India Racing.
Karun’s background does resemble Narain Karthikeyan as Karun also hails from Tamil Nadu and his father was also a well-known figure in the racing industry.
Karun raced in important events like British Formula 3 and GP2 Series. In 2010, he became the second Indian to play the Formula 1 race. He played for Hispania Racing F1 Team and the next year he did play for Team Lotus.
Karun then participated in FIA World Endurance Championship, FIA GT Series, and Formula E, and he also raced with an electric car for the Mahindra Racing team. Karun has also played 24 Hours of Le Mans in France.
Jehan Daruvala is yet to play the F1 race, but he has cleared a Formula 1 test with McLaren and is now eligible for a Super License. He has displayed his potential in races like Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, Toyota Racing Series, European Formula 3 Championship, GP3 Series, FIA Formula 2 Championship, etc.
Jehan is a Mumbaikar and is just 23 years old. The man started with karting and doesn’t have any racing background like Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok. So that is a big achievement in itself.
It is really exciting to see the next-gen like Jehan getting inspired by Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok.
India is moving in the right direction and that too at a good pace to become a multi-sports nation. In the recent past, the major focus has been on athletics and football. However, men like Narain Karthikeyan, Karun Chandhok, and Jehan Daruvala have paved a new path for a different careers in sports.
Let’s hope, the young generation will be motivated by these three men, and India in the future will have a bunch of F1 drivers.