Narain Karthikeyan believes the potential for A1GP now the championship has Ferrari on-board is greater than ever, arguing the nation vs nation series could even go on to rival Formula 1 in terms of its popularity in years to come.

The experienced Indian has raced in both F1 and A1GP, with a best finish of fourth place for Jordan Grand Prix in the largely boycotted 2005 US Grand Prix and sealing his country's maiden World Cup of Motorsport success in Zhuhai last year.

"I think so [A1 GP will catch up with F1]," Karthikeyan asserted, speaking to PTI ahead of the penultimate meeting of the 2007/08 campaign in Shanghai this weekend, "more so for next year, because of the Ferrari deal. Ferrari and motorsport go back a long way in history.

"Nowhere [else] in the world are 24 nations going to battle it out in Ferrari cars. The championship straightaway goes much higher-profile; it will have much more media attention and more viewers."

The series - launched back in 2005 and now nearing the end of its third campaign - has agreed terms that will see the Scuderia supply all teams with engines for the next six years. What's more, Karthikeyan praised A1GP's unique format, adding he hoped a race in India may not be too far away in the distance. An Indian Grand Prix is already in the pipeline for the next few years, possibly as early as 2010.

"They [A1GP] don't go and try competing with F1," the 31-year-old underlined. "It's two totally different levels. This concept is really clicking with the fans, and it will get much bigger in the years to come.

"The plan to get A1GP to India is 2009-10 for the race to happen. That's the date they have set, and hopefully A1GP will be there with all the Ferrari cars."



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