Narain Karthikeyan

First Indian racer to compete in Formula One


The man who lives life in the fast lane, Narain Karthikeyan does not need any introduction. The first ever F1 driver from India, Narain Karthikeyan has won many laurels and is considered a pioneer in the world of motorsports.

Following in his father’s footsteps Shri.G.R.Karthikeyan who was a former Indian National rally champion and won the South India rally seven times, Narain Karthikeyan has proved his calibre and won many accolades as well.

He debuted in Formula One in 2005 with the Jordan team and drove test cars for Williams F1 in 2006 and 2007. In his single-seater career, he has won several races in the A1GP, British F3, World series by Nissan, AutoGP, Formula Asia, British Formula Ford, and Opel series. He has also raced in the A1GP and the Le Mans Series in the past.

He won the British Formula Ford Winter Series in 1994 & Formula Asia Championship in 1996. He also finished fourth overall in British F3 in 2000 & the World Nissan series in 2003. 

Narain then moved to stock car racing and drove the #60 Safe Auto Insurance Company Toyota Tundra for Wyler Racing in the 2010 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. 

He rejoined Formula One in 2011 with the HRT team, and continued till 2012. Narain competed in the Auto GP series in 2013, winning five races and earning four pole positions with Super Nova Racing. 

In 2014 Narain signed up with Team Impul to race in the Japanese Super Formula series and he raced till 2018. 

In the year 2019, he ended his single-seater career by joining the SuperGT series in Japan.

Awards and Accomplishments

Awards and Accomplishments

  • First Indian racer to win the ‘British Formula Ford Winter Series’ in 1994
  • First Asian and the first Indian to win the Asian Formula 2000 in 1996
  • Drove fantastically well at the British Formula 3 Championships of 1998,1999 and 2000, finishing 12th, 6th, and 4th, respectively
  • Became India’s first Formula One racer in 2005, finishing 18th at the season
  • Won the A1GP race, held in China for the first time in 2007 which was India’s first win in the race
  • Three 24 hours Le Man victories in 2009 with a total of 22 individual wins
  • Made his NASCAR debut by participating in “Kroger 250 Camping World Truck Series” finishing at the 13th place and received the title of “NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Most Popular Driver” in 2010
  • Finished 16th with a total of 288 points at the Super League Formula Championship of 2010
  • Honoured with the fourth highest civilian award “Padma Shri” by the Government of India in 2010
  • Secured 5 wins and 4 pole positions, finishing 4th at the Auto GP Series of 2013
  • Secured 13th, 11th and 14th position at the Super Formula season 2014, 2015, and 2016 respectively

Why Narain Karthikeyan ?

The 10-year-old Coimbatore boy who set a goal for himself, conquered all the difficulties to accomplish it and went on to become India’s first and only Formula One racer. By doing so, he let a whole nation who had previously thought of motorsport as a specialised activity only for the extremely wealthy to enter, proved it could be possible for anyone. He changed the perspective and truly became the trailblazer by putting India on the motor-racing map.

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