Karthikeyan happy with US NASCAR series

Sunday, December 5, 2010

BANGALORE - Narain Karthikeyan has not exactly given up on a return to Formula One next year, coinciding with the inaugural Indian Grand Prix, but preferred not to comment on the possibility of him driving for Force India in 2011. For the moment, he is enjoying his time in the US NASCAR series.

Karthikeyan did a simulator test for Force India soon after the season-ending Grand Prix at Abu Dhabhi, but stressed that not much should be read into it while admitting that driving a Formula One car still excites him.

“Any racing driver will get excited about driving a F1 car and it is the same with me. Yes, I did a simulator test for Force India, but I cannot say anything beyond that.

“There are so many factors that go into Formula One and I do not wish to say anything more than that,” said Karthikeyan when asked specifically about the possibility of him driving for Vijay Mallyas Force India next year.

Karthikeyan, speaking on the sidelines of the Karnataka-1000 Rally here Sunday, said he was enjoying his time in the American NASCAR series and that he would have to give up a lot to get back to Formula One series in which he made his debut in 2005, his first and only season so far in the elite championship.

“I see myself driving in the NASCAR championship for another 10 years, but for now, I dont want to talk about Formula One,” said the 33-year-old Karthikeyan, who was recently voted the most popular driver in the NASCAR series.

Mallya, whose Force India made its F1 debut in 2008, has given little or no indication so far about having an Indian driving for his team, although at one juncture, it was thought that Karun Chandhok might get a race seat.

Chandhok, the 26-year-old from Chennai, made his F1 debut this year with the Hispania Racing team, but drove in only 10 races before making way for Japanese Sakon Yamamoto who came in with a bigger budget.

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