Narain Karthikeyan was believed to have been well in the running to take a race seat with Marussia F1 following the exit of Luis Razia. Getty Images
Narain Karthikeyan will not fill the vacancy at the Marussia F1 team for the 2013 season after it was confirmed by Autosport that France’s Jules Bianchi will get the drive.
Brazil’s Luis Razia’s had struggled to meet the sponsorship requirements and Karthikeyan’s name was included amongst the possible replacements.
“There wasn't adequate time to put a deal together when the opportunity came,” said Karthikeyan when contacted by HT.
Marussia F1 had struggled to complete its driver line-up after 2007 GP2 champion Timo Glock’s had to exit due to sponsorship trouble.
Karthikeyan is believed to have raised adequate sponsorship through principal sponsor TATA Motors in preparation of his F1 campaign, which then had to be put on hold due to HRT F1’s sudden closure.
The team’s second driver Pedro De La Rosa has since moved to Ferrari to take up the role of test and development driver, while one of HRT F1’s reserve drivers — Ma Qing Hua — has resumed those duties at Caterham F1.
Karthikeyan’s plans for 2013 are not yet clear, although India’s first F1 driver is keen to continue actively racing with no thought given to taking a hiatus as of now.