India will complete 75 years of Independence this year. Here is a series acknowledging 75 great sporting achievements by Indian athletes. Sportstar will present one iconic sporting achievement each day, leading up to August 15, 2022.

Narain Karthikeyan makes F1 debut

March 6, 2005: Narain Karthikeyan was a trailblazer in the high-octane world of racing. He was the first Indian to race in Formula 1.


Narain Karthikeyan in action in his debut Formula One race at the Australian Grand Prix in 2005.


“Being the first one [in F1] was always very difficult. I got there against all odds. It was not a walk in the park. For a boy from Coimbatore... you know, when I started 27 years ago, I virtually had nothing.

So, for me to race with the likes of [Michael] Schumacher, [Fernando] Alonso and the rest of them... sometimes you need to pinch yourself to know that you have really done it,” said Narain.


Narain Karthikeyan was with the Jordan Racing Team in the 2005 season.


The racer from Coimbatore returned to F1 in 2011 after a six-year gap, participating in 29 races for HRT over two seasons, and was the only Indian to line up for the country’s inaugural F1 race at the Buddh International Circuit in 2011.

READ FULL STORY | Narain Karthikeyan will be back after a break - The Hindu

Narain was exposed to cars from a very young age as his father was into rallying. “Maybe, as a 10-year-old I thought that F1 was exciting. I just wanted to see how far I could reach.”

(Excerpts from an article that appeared in the Hindu on March 3, 2020)