Narain Karthikeyan

Karthikeyan was born in Chennai (known at the time as Madras) in 1977. At the age of 16 he went to France to attend the famous Elf Winfield Racing School and on his return to India he began to race in a local series called Formula Maruti. Later in 1993 he headed to Britain and took part in Formula Vauxhall Junior and then in 1994 moved to Formula Ford. He went on to win the Formula Ford Winter Series. He then returned to India and raced in Formula Asia and in 1996 he was the Formula Asia Champion. Then it was back to Europe again to compete in Formula Opel in Britain in 1997 and Formula 3 in 1998 with Carlin Motorsport. The following year Narain gave Carlin its first victory in British F3 with a win at Brands Hatch but a third year in the series resulted in no wins in British F3 although he finished fourth in the series behind Antonio Pizzonia, Tomas Scheckter and Takuma Sato. He did win an international race at Spa and the Korean Formula 3 Superprix. In 2001 Karthikeyan got his first Formula 1 test with Jaguar Racing and he went on to test for Jordan Grand Prix as well. That year he raced in Formula Nippon but failed to win a race. He then moved on to the Nissan World Series and in 2003 he finished fourth in the series, again without winning a race. He tested for Minardi that year and returned to the Nissan series in 2004 with RC Motorsport and finally won his first race at Magny-Cours. He was signed by the Jordan team for 2005 after the team had been taken over by the Midland organization.

The season was not a great success and at the end of the year Karthikeyan looked elsewhere for work and ended up at Williams as a test driver in 2006.