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Narain Karthikeyan Biography

Narain Karthikeyan, India’s first Formula One driver, was born in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu on January 14, 1977. Karthikeyan got hooked on to car-racing early on in life. His father and uncles were former Indian national rally champions. He went to the Elf Winfield Racing School in France to hone his skills.

He competed in the Formula Vauxhall Junior Championship in Great Britain, which gave him valuable experience. In 1994, he went back to the U.K. and participated in the Formula Ford Zetec. He participated in the British Formula Ford Winter Series, becoming the first Indian to win any championship in Europe.

In 1995, he moved on to the Formula Asia Championship and in 1996, became the first Indian and the first Asian to win the Formula Asia International series. The year 1998 saw Karthikeyan making his debut in the British Formula Three Championship. In the British F3 Championship in 2000, he finished 4th overall besides taking pole position and fastest laps in the Macau Grand Prix. In 2001, he participated in the Formula Nippon F3000 Championship and ended the year placed among the top ten. He became the first Indian to ever drive an F1 car for the Jaguar Racing team at Silverstone. He took a test drive in the Jordan-Honda EJ11 at Silverstone

He continued with the Nissan World Series in 2004 and notched up many podium finishes. He became India’s first Formula One racing driver when he joined the Jordan Formula One team for the 2005 Formula One season. In January 2006, Williams confirmed Narain as their fourth driver and he has been retained as a test driver for Williams in 2007.