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Karthikeyan hopes to be on F1 grid in 2008

Narain Karthikeyan

Narain Karthikeyan has not given up yet to return on the Formula 1 grid. The 30-year-old from India has been Williams F1 test driver for the past two years and is looking for a new team to return in F1 as a race driver.

According to his manager Karthikeyan will not extend his contract at Williams even though the team offered him a new deal for 2008. Karthikeyan's manager Mark Perkins told The Asian Age: "We have decided not to extend the partnership even if they are ready to renew the contract. The FIA has banned driver aids like traction control and electronics. All the prime drivers will be looking to do more testing on the off season, so the test drivers will hardly get a chance next year."

Perkins doesn't understand why F1's latest team Force India did not consider Karthikeyan to become the team's driver. Perkins said: "He is the best available racer in the country and Mallya helped him when Narain began his career. But I don't know why he is not considering his countryman now,"

Karthikeyan isn't counting on a deal with the Indian team either. He said: "I am not in the fray and I am not even expecting a final minute call from Mallya for the Jerez test (next week). I would have got the call a month ago if they really wanted me.

And thus Karthikeyan is focusing on other teams. "My contract with the Williams will expire on December 31. There are plenty of things happening. My manager Mark Perkins is in negotiations with a few big teams. I hope I will be back on the F1 grid."

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