India's first Formula 1 driver Narain Karthikeyan had told autoX last Wednesday during a press conference for Tata Motors' new truck racing series that he had signed a memorandum of understanding to be part of the Drivers' Club for the inaugural all-electric FIA Formula E season which shall commence this September.
This was confirmed through a press release issued by Formula E, where it announced eight new names as part of the pool of drivers who will be available for the ten teams in the ten-round championship to choose from in a manner similar to the draft in professional sports leagues in America.
Former F1 drivers Bruno Senna (in third picture), Christijan Albers, Franck Montagny former CART/Champ Car champion Sébastien Bourdais (in second picture, who also raced in F1 with Toro Rosso), Oriol Servia, Daniel Abt and John R. Hildebrand Jr are the seven other drivers who will join the first eight drivers who announced their availability for the Formula E pool, which included Karthikeyan's compatriot Karun Chandhok.
“Sustainability is the current buzzword in automotive technology, and its application in a gruelling motorsport environment like Formula E will definitely help at many different levels,” said Karthikeyan. “On the racing front as well, the series is breaking new ground by taking the sport to the fans in an unprecedented way across the world. I am happy to be named as a part of the Drivers’ Club and eagerly look forward to the experience.”
Given Karthikeyan's loyalty to the rivals of Mahindra Racing's parent company - Tata Motors - who have supported his motorsport career for almost 16 years, it is unlikely that he will race for the Indian squad in Formula E, however Chandhok is believed to be all but a certain lock to join Mahindra and their team principal Dilbagh Gill.