Karthikeyan cannot hide his delight over F1 drive | india | Hindustan Times
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Karthikeyan cannot hide his delight over F1 drive

Narain Karthikeyan is delighted after securing a test driver role with the Williams F1 team for the coming season in Grove, England, on Friday.

india Updated: Jan 28, 2006 00:50 IST

Narain Karthikeyan is delighted after securing a test driver role with the Williams F1 team for the coming season in Grove, England, on Friday.

Karthikeyan, who became India's first Formula One driver last year, will not drive the team's new FW28 challenger until after the Australian Grand Prix in April, but is settling in well to his new role.

He lost out to Alex Wurz, who signed from McLaren last month, and Karthikeyan will become the team's second test driver behind the Austrian for the season which starts in Bahrain on March 11.

Karthikeyan, 29, said at the launch of the Williams FW28 on Friday: "Obviously the team is a lot more technically strong (than Jordan was). The car is easier to drive and there is just a feeling that everybody has a lot of ability in this team.

"I was testing for three days in December and I learnt a lot even then and hopefully I can continue to learn things this season. I know I will not drive the car for a while -- probably not until after the first three races."

The man from Chennai raced for Jordan Grand Prix last year -- taking his best result of fourth place in the United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis.

The new Williams test driver lost his seat at Jordan at the end of last season when the team were renamed Midland F1.

Karthikeyan will support Mark Webber and Nico Rosberg, who are the team's main drivers this season.

Team principal Sir Frank Williams has high expectations of Karthikeyan after receiving a strong recommendation about him from director of engineering Patrick Head.

Williams said: "Patrick (Head) observed Narain last year and he saw just how quick he was -- just as quick as Mark Webber over a single lap in fact.