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75 years of independence: Iconic moments from Indian sports – 2005 Narain Karthikeyan makes F1 debut

India will complete 75 years of Independence this year. Here is a series acknowledging greatest sporting achievements by Indian athletes.

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.

‘Being first in a first-person shooter was never easy. In spite of all obstacles, I arrived there. It was not a simple task. For a boy from Coimbatore, I practically had nothing when I started 27 years ago. So, sometimes you have to pinch yourself to realise that you actually accomplished something, as in the case of me competing in races among drivers like [Michael] Schumacher, [Fernando] Alonso, and the rest of them,’ said Narain.

The Coimbatore racer made his six-year F1 comeback in 2011, competing in 29 races for HRT over two seasons. In 2011, he was the sole Indian to start the Buddh International Circuit’s maiden F1 race.

Narain’s father was a rally driver, thus he was around automobiles from a very young age. ‘Perhaps I thought that F1 was exciting when I was ten years old. All I wanted to do was test my limits.’

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