Jordan Grand Prix today announces the signing of Tiago Monteiro and Narain Karthikeyan as its race drivers for the 2005 Formula One World Championship.
Karthikeyan's signing marks the entry of the first ever Indian driver to the top echelons of motorsport, giving Formula One exceptional appeal in India with the potential for an enormous new audience and business market associated with a national racing hero known as "the fastest Indian on wheels".
Trevor Carlin, Jordan's Sporting Director, said, "I know Narain very well because he drove for me in 1998 in Formula 3 and I have run him in various formulas every year since then. We've won a lot of races together. He's very competitive, a super-quick driver, sometimes a little bit raw and wild in his style but he is a proven race winner and I am confident that in our environment he will thrive. He's ready for F1 now I think he'll do a good job for us."
"Tiago has also raced for me before. He raced in the Nissan Dallara World Series last season and finished second in the Championship, winning five races - he did a fantastic job. He is a super-professional and as a driver he's very good technically, we will see him work well with the team to get the best out of the car and improve it."
"He's extremely fit and has a very good race pace, rarely makes mistakes and brings us a very technically competent, polished and consistent package. This is the chance for him to prove himself and make people notice him. He's ready to make a big impression. We have been very lucky to put together a driver line-up which gives us a really strong package in terms of youth, technical ability, speed and talent."
Tiago Monteiro said, "I'm more than excited to be part of Jordan Grand Prix this season. I have worked hard each season to be able to race one day in F1 and I really want to make the most out of this to thank everyone who helped put me here today. Portugal was waiting for a F1 driver for nearly ten years and the fact that I'm going to represent my country and the Portuguese culture all over the world makes me proud and gives me so much motivation."
"I have also a special thought for all my friends and supporters in France where I have done most of my racing career. It's great to start with Jordan and the addition of Midland and all the Carlin people I have been racing with is a big plus."
Narain Karthikeyan said, "My aim has always been to compete in F1, it is where no Indian driver has been before. I've got the hopes of a nation behind me so I've no choice but to succeed now. I have tested with three different Formula 1 teams at various circuits and I'm going to give it everything I've got so I am confident that this is going to be a good year for me."