The new car has put the brakes on Team India's participation in the A1 season-opening race at Zandvoort, the Netherlands. The team, made up of Narain Karthikeyan, Armaan Ebrahim and Parthiv Sureshwaran, will not be at the starting grid on Saturday after there was a delay in delivery of parts.
A standardised Ferrari engine is powering all cars from this season and, as of Tuesday, the Indians, like many others, were yet to receive all the necessary parts.
Even though the tub and engine arrived from Italy on Sunday night, the other parts — due from UK — did not arrive in time. Confirming their pullout, Team India said in a statement to HT, "Due to circumstances beyond the control of A1 Team India, there has been a delay in the build programme of the new A1GP cars, and the A1 Team India car has been affected. As a result, the team will not be able to take part in the Zandvoort race."
However, despite their inability to race at Zandvoort, Team India believes that its chances of challenging for the World Cup of motorsport will not be adversely affected. "With the recent change of the points scoring system, that allows a team to drop its worst event score, we will not suffer. The situation we find ourselves in is unfortunate, but the morale of the team is high and we are focused on competing at the next race at Chengdu, China and through the rest of the season," said A1 Team India CEO Andaleeb Sehgal.
Meanwhile, Team India spokesperson Neha Rastogi, told HT that Karthikeyan was taking the setback in his stride. "He's obviously disappointed but I guess after being on the scene for so long, he knows these things happen. “He will fire all cylinders at the Chendu race."