Brushing aside the disappointments of the last season, India’s top motorsports driver Narain Karthikeyan today said he was confident of breaking into the Formula One grade soon.
“After the crash last year due to which I failed to participate in some meets, I am much more fit both physically and mentally and I think I can make it this time,” the “fastest Indian in the world” told reporters here today.
Karthikeyan, who finished last year’s championship in Brazil as one of the fastest drivers in the highly competitive Telefonica World Series, would be participating in nine races in the same series this year, starting with the race in Barcelona, Spain on March 30. Despite the crash, for which he lost valuable 80 points, he claimed one pole position and set a fastest time ever in the interlagos circuit (other than F1).
Terming 2002, which was his first year on the European circuit, as a ‘learning year’, the 26-year old shot back at critics who said that age was no more on his side.
“Some people are saying that I am too old for Formula-1. But there are certain racers who made their debut in F-1 at the age of 29. As far as I am concerned I know that I can do it,” said Karthikeyan who would be driving for a British team. He blamed lack of opportunity as one of the reasons for his failure to make it to F-1. “I am quicker than some of the young crops at F-1. Getting opportunity is the main thing.”
He also urged sponsors to come forward and finance him as he intensifies efforts to join the big league. “Though I am getting good money like the cricketers, it is not enough as I have to spend everything on races.”