The news of Narain Karthikeyan getting back to F1 made up for an almost lost opportunity to have an Indian driver don the tricolors during the inaugural Indian Grand Prix this October. Watching it from close quarters, it was a foregone conclusion that Narain would be the best bet. I would have preferred him drive a Force India F1 any day, but lets get back to reality.
When I met him a couple of months back, the same questions popped up, whats are the plans like, hows he liking the NASCAR drive, et all. As we conversed, we knew this year is will be more emotional than ever, may be far more than the 2005 year start at Melbourne. I still remember he had Michael Schumacher in his mirror. He felt this is also a very important for us in India to showcase what we can achieve, in terms of Infrastructure and as a nation with a sporting culture what we can pull off especially when its the first Indian GP. The dream of having an Indian driver at the Indian GP is now a reality.
It is a long dream come true, that its there finally on the calendar, we were close to a Hyderabad F1 track way back if I should say, but we never know how political equations can hinder or bolster things up. Then waiting for almost last three years on tow and this years officially being up there near New Delhi in Noida.
Its great to see the place coming up at a brisk pace, and will get ready to host the event. The Commonwealth Games last year, sans the corruption story was a great reminder that India can host the best given an opportunity. We can be sure that Indian GP will also be an event which will change the way F1 looks at Indian market for sure.
Now we have three people to cheer, two FF1 cars and one HRT, and if you thought we will be spoilt for choice, its not simply true. Narain will be most watched, riding on a billion dreams next only to the Cricket World Cup aspirations that Indians religiously have and pray for. We will still be looking out for FF1 cars!
Despite of his age, Narain is a fast driver and a quick learner, so the challenges before him in terms of the change in technology and rules should be easy for him. Adaptability is his forte. Doing what he likes is one of his hallmarks and inside the cockpit he forgets the world around him.
It would be unwise to expect any miracle from HRT on day 1, nevertheless, it might be that he should look for opportunities wasted by those ahead of him and for sure, we will be a happy lot. Now waiting for the Bahrain GP to kick start the circus as we all know for this year!
Will be back with more!