Formula One is a thrilling sport and Indians have managed to make their mark in the sport. Even though the volume of Indians is not high considering the expenses and infrastructure needed to make a mark in the sport, there have been still quite a number of notable achievements from Indians in the sport, especially over the last 20 years.
These racing car drivers from India have showcased their skills in the fast lane, forcing a high adrenalin rush and excitement amongst fans. Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok are two Indian racing drivers who made it to the illustrious Formula One. Here’s a list of all the racers who hail from India and have earned a lot of fame:
1. Narain Kartikeyan:
Born in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, Narain’s first major podium finish came on April 25, 2004. This was during the second weekend of the Nissan World Series race that took place at Zolder, Belgium.
Narain came to the limelight after signing a deal with Jordan Grand Prix, a constructor team with Formula One.
He made his debut at the Australian Grand Prix on March 6, 2005, finishing 15th in the race.His best finish came at the United States Grand Prix on June 15, 2005, just missing out on the podium for the fourth position.
In 2019, competing for Nakajima Racing, Narain won the Fuji Super GT x DTM Dream Race in Fuji During this race, he also had the fastest lap. He has participated in other car-related events and races including A1 GP, 24 Hours of Le Mans, NASCAR and SuperLeague Formula to name a few.
2. Karun Chandhok:
Born in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, Karun became the Formula Maruti Series champion after winning seven of the ten races. In 2001, driving for Team India Racing, Karun became the youngest ever person to win the Formula 2000 Asia Series. He was victorious in eight of the fourteen races.
Five years later, he was the winner of the inaugural Formula V6 Asia by Renault Series, claiming seven wins. He also had nine pole positions during this series. In 2010, he made his Formula One debut, driving for Hispania Racing. He also went on to compete in the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship, along with having experience driving in the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans.
He also participated in the inaugural Formula E Championship, driving for Mahindra Racing.
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3. Gaurav Gill:
Born in Delhi, India, Gaurav was triumphant in the National Rally Championship, driving for Team MRF. He then became a regular racing car driver, participating in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championships (APRC).
Driving for Team MRF Skoda, he became the first Indian to clinch the 2013 APRC title.He completed a hat trick of APRC victories after winning the same title in 2016 and 2018.
In 2019, he also became the first Indian from motorsports to receive the Arjuna Award.
4. Jehan Daruvela:
Born in Mumbai, India, Jehan Daruvala created history in 2020 as he became the first driver from the country to win a Formula 2 ( What is the difference between F1, F2, F3 and FE? ) race when he finished on the top step of the podium at the Sakhir sprint race in Bahrain. Daruvala, who races for Carlin, edged past the likes of Mick Schumacher, Yuki Tsunoda and Dan Ticktum.
5. Sailesh Bolisetti:
Born in Vizag, India, Sailesh went on to achieve glory at the Volkswagen Polo Cup India and the MRF Racing Challenge – Touring Cars, in 2010.
Two years later, in 2012, he became the first-ever Indian to compete in the British GT Championship.In his first race driving for Lotus at Oulton Park, he had a podium finish. This was followed by a win in the second round at Germany’s Nurburgring circuit.
Hence, Sailesh became the first Indian to register a victory at the British GT Championship.
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