India's first F1 driver Narain Karthikeyan has said that the upcoming Formula E race in Hyderabad will provide a boost to the stagnant motorsports scene in the country.
This weekend's race marks the return of a marquee motorsports event after 10 years. India last hosted a major championship in 2013, when the third Indian Grand Prix Formula 1 race was held in Greater Noida.
Karthikeyan, who raced for close to three decades before turning entrepreneur told spoke to PTI ahead of the Hyderabad race. “To have a World Championship race in India is superb. It will definitely bring back the buzz,” he said. “Having such an event in the heart of the city in Hyderabad will certainly attract a crowd.”
The Hyderabad ePrix, featuring the single-seater, electrically powered Formula E cars, will be held on 11 February. Mahindra Racing is the only Indian team in Formula E. As the Hyderabad track is a street circuit, the drivers will face unique challenges, and will have to adapt quickly to changing conditions.
The debut of the all-electric Formula E Championship will be followed by a MotoGP race in September. “Another world championship event in India will bring motorsports back into the spotlight,” Karthikeyan told PTI. “Given the opportunities and the talent in the country, we need infrastructure and financial support, which has been lacking for years.”
Karthikeyan is currently building DriveX, a mobility platform, through which he says he is “connected to the entire ecosystem”. “Motorsports brings in new R&D which paves the way for better road vehicles. It is a platform to showcase EVs and other tech that will reach everyday mobility in the future,” he said.