Formula One team Hispania Racing confirmed the appointment of India's Narain Karthikeyan as their race driver for the 2011 F1 season.
Karthikeyan, 33, is not short of F1 experience having raced in the 2005 season for the Jordan team before serving as a test and reserve driver for Williams. He has also competed in A1GP, the World Cup of Motorsport and the Le Mans series and has served stints in the Nascar truck series and Superleague Formula.
I have always maintained that I have not given up on my desire to return to the pinnacle of world motor sport, said Karthikeyan. I am confident that I still have the pace, the fitness and the will to succeed in Formula One.
He has an association with Hispania team principal Colin Kolles which dates back to his Jordan days after which he raced in the Le Mans series for the Audi team which was then managed by Kolles.
I have known Narain for a long time and he can revert to the experiences he gained when he was competing for Jordan Grand Prix and being test and reserve driver for Williams F1, Kolles said. I am sure that his experience and speed will be very useful for the team during the season.
Karthikeyan is not the first Indian to drive for Hispania as he follows Karun Chandhok who was replaced after the first 10 races of the 2010 season.
Karthikeyan's appointment leaves three vacant F1 seats left unconfirmed for the 2011 season - the second racer at Hispania and the two at Force India.