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Karthikeyan denies Force India speculation

Narain Karthikeyan has denied suggestions that a run in Forcd India's simulator could lead to an F1 comeback ahead of the inaugural Indian GP in 2011.

Narain Karthikeyan has attempted to diffuse speculation that he may be preparing for an F1 comeback following reports that he tried out in Force India's simulator following the season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November.

While Vijay Mallya's team has not been shy about offering potential grand prix candidates a chance to sample its Silverstone-based technology, Karthikeyan insists that little should be read into his presence at the factory, despite making no secret of the fact that he considers F1 unfinished business after his brief flirtation with the top flight in 2005.

"Yes, I did a simulator test for Force India, but I cannot say anything beyond that," the Indian, who also served as test driver for Williams after his race seat disappeared along with Jordan in 2006, told ITV-F1, "Any racing driver will get excited about driving a F1 car and it is the same with me, but there are so many factors that go into F1 and I do not wish to say anything more than that."

The prospect of an Indian Grand Prix joining the schedule in 2011 has raised hopes that both Karthikeyan and 2010 debutant Karun Chandhok could be on the grid, along with national favourite Force India, but Karthikeyan admits that his countryman has a better chance of being a part of the event, following Chandhok's recent comments that his prospects for next season were looking positive.

Since parting company with Williams after two years in the back-up role, Karthikeyan has spent time racing in A1GP, sportscars and Superleague Formula, before attempting to make more history by switching his attention to the USA and NASCAR. Despite IndyCar single-seaters appearing to be a more natural home for a driver who made his name in F3 and Nissan World Series en route to F1, the Indian has made several starts in the NASCAR Truck Series and has his sights set on moving up the stock car ladder.

"I see myself driving in the NASCAR championship for another ten years and, for now, I don't want to talk about F1," Karthikeyan said, despite previously being quoted by ESPN as being excited by the prospect of returning to the top flight.

"I'm looking forward to [the Indian GP] - every driver would like to be in the inaugural race," the 33-year old told the American sports broadcaster, "I did go for a simulator test but that's all that happened. I'm not willing to comment on what happened during and after the tests - I think you should talk to [Vijay] Mallya about the results and my performance."

Force India has yet to name its line-up for next season, with 2010 drivers Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi both listed among the candidates. However, much has been made about new DTM champion - and engine partner Mercedes' protégé - Paul di Resta being a shoo-in for one of the seats, while the unexpected availability of both Nico Hulkenberg and Nick Heidfeld has given the team much to ponder.

Sutil has been linked to possible roles at both Renault and Mercedes, although the latter appears unlikely while Michael Schumacher eyes a second season out of retirement. The younger German is thought to have angered Mallya by considering other options, but remains the most likely partner for di Resta should the team opt to buy Liuzzi out of the second year of his contract.

Virgin and HRT are the other teams with notable vacancies, with Renault now thought likely to confirm the return of Vitaly Petrov for a second season in 2011.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Narain Karthikeyan - Jordan-Toyota EJ15B
Narain Karthikeyan - Jordan Grand Prix
Narain Karthikeyan - Williams F1
27.04.2017 - Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM010
27.04.2017 - Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM010
27.04.2017 - Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10 and Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM010
27.04.2017 - Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40
27.04.2017 - Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
27.04.2017 - Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
27.04.2017 - Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
27.04.2017 - Williams FW40, detail
27.04.2017 - Sahara Force India F1 VJM010, detail
27.04.2017 - Sahara Force India F1 VJM010, detail
27.04.2017 - Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
27.04.2017 - Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
27.04.2017 - Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM010
27.04.2017 - Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM010
27.04.2017 - Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10

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Ak - Unregistered

December 07, 2010 11:36 PM

Andrew Here are some facts: Narain - betters karun chandhok's performance while they were teammates in British F3 Narain Wins two races in A1GP - Karun's best finish in A1GP in the same Team India A1 gp car was 15th Narain outqulifies Tiago almost everytime in F1 until Trevor Carlin is replaced for Collin Kolles, who publicly humiliates narain everytime. Collin Kolles is famous for his anti-indian antics. He effed around with Narain and this year replaced Karun Chandhok as soon as he was team principal Narain deserves one more chance. ask any one they will tell you he is FAST!

kf1 - Unregistered

December 08, 2010 2:47 AM

@Andrew I didn't say KC not being in f1 was hit fault. And if you say nk didn't set the track alight you were in a coma for the whole of the 05 season. He pushed the car hard every time on the track. He was superquick for the majority of the season (although not consistant, but many people are not). In addition he became a williams test driver and was not because of his sponsors, which tells something about his calibre. Also heres for a record, hes won in every championship hes raced in except f1 (duh) and le mans series (where he raced a 3 year old audi), he set the fastest non f1 lap at interlagos. Narain deserves anothers shot, much more than KC (who only really performed well in formula v6 asia).

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