BANGALORE Dec 18 India's Narain
Karthikeyan has not given up hope of racing in Formula One next
year despite there being only two clear vacancies remaining and
a long list of rivals for them.
"I had a good Indian Grand Prix and the intention is to see
what opportunities are available in Formula One and see how we
can conclude something," the driver told Reuters on the
sidelines of a karting event in the Indian city of Bangalore.
"I'm not dealing with it directly. So there are people who
are liaising on behalf of me," added the first Indian to drive
in Formula One and still the only one to score points, with
Jordan in 2005.
Karthikeyan made his Formula One comeback with Hispania
(HRT) this year after five years out, but had to stand aside
from the British Grand Prix in July in favour of Red Bull-backed
Australian rookie Daniel Ricciardo.
He made a one-off race appearance for his inaugural home
grand prix at the Buddh circuit, replacing Italian Vitantonio
Liuzzi, and finished 17th and ahead of Ricciardo.
Ricciardo has since moved on to Toro Rosso, Red Bull's
sister team, with Spanish veteran Pedro de la Rosa the only
driver confirmed by HRT so far.
The Spanish-based team's owners have also replaced Colin
Kolles, who handed Karthikeyan's his drives at Jordan and HRT,
as principal with former racer Luis Perez-Sala now in charge.
Perez-Sala said on Saturday that HRT were in advanced talks
with several drivers but gave no details.
"It's a decision we surely won't make until the start of
next year because, at this stage, who will be the team's second
driver for next season is perhaps the least urgent one right
now," added the Spaniard.
He also warned that HRT, who have yet to score a point in
two years, would be less competitive next season than they had
been at the end of 2011 and were "taking a step back so that we
can take two forward."
The only other team with a declared vacancy is former
champions Williams, with whom Karthikeyan worked as a test
driver in 2006 and 2007.
Germany's Adrian Sutil is seen as favourite for that seat,
unless Williams stick with Brazilian Rubens Barrichello.
Karthikeyan said Kolles had made a strong contribution to
HRT but the team was moving on.
"With a small team he did a good job. But now the team has a
different direction and that's a good thing," he said .
(Reporting by Abhishek Takle in Bangalore; Editing by Alan
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