Karthikeyan zeroes in on A1 GP next year | india | Hindustan Times
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Karthikeyan zeroes in on A1 GP next year

With offers drying up from top F1 teams, Karthikeyan has settled for the A1GP, an event he was hardly interested in a few years ago, reports Anupma Tripathi.

india Updated: Dec 20, 2007 23:31 IST
Anupma Tripathi

AFTER FAILING to strike a deal with Williams earlier this year, Narain Karthikeyan is finding it hard to find his feet in the F1 circuit.

With offers drying up from top F1 teams, Karthikeyan has settled for the A1GP, an event he was hardly interested in a few years ago.

But his recent win at Zhuhai in China has boosted his chances of returning to his first love.

Karthikeyan admitted, "There is nothing concrete in F1 for me, so I am just concentrating on A1."

Karthikeyan's version

According to Karthikeyan, he said 'no' to Williams as he was not keen to be a second test driver for them. "If at all they want to rope me in, they will have to take me as their third driver."

The takeover of Spyker by Vijay Mallya, now renamed Force India, in which he failed to make the cut, seems to have left him unperturbed. "I think it's not the end of the world, but its good news for Indian motor sport that India owns an F1 team."

WHY A1GP?

"I am making more money in A1 than I could have in Formula One," revealed Karthikeyan, hinting that he intended to make the most of the "lesser opportunity".

Sponsorship problem looms large

The Chennai-based driver is once again battling to rope in sponsors. But after his superlative showing in China, speculation is rife that former sponsors, the Tatas, could join hands with him once again.

Having said that, his troubles are far from over as Amaron has pulled out of the deal they had him. Currently, he has the backing of only JK Tyres.

Karthikeyan vs Chandhok

In town to speak about the podium finish in Zhuhai, Karthikeyan made his displeasure quite clear on being asked if the young Karun Chandhok (GP2 driver) was doing better than him.

"I definitely disagree. You have an example in David Hilman who has won the World Championship at the age of 31. Age is just a number, Karun and I have run two races three years ago. Of course, I was faster than him. Lets see who is the fastest man now," said the 31-year-old.

A1GP coming to India

There's a possibility that states like Rajasthan and Haryana are in contention for having a street circuit. Andaleeb Sehgal, CEO, A1 Team India, confirmed, "David Clare, Chief Executive, A1GP Asia Pacific has given the request in writing to the state governments. He will be here in January to finalize the deal, so an A1GP circuit by February 2009 might just be possible."