Karthikeyan in Jordan's sights

Indian Narain Karthikeyan is being lined up for a race seat at Jordan this season, according to this week's Autosport magazine. The Silverstone-based team, which was bought by Russian billionaire Alex Shnaider's Midland Group last week, currently has no drivers signed for 2005 and the takeover has moved Karthikeyan into the frame

Karthikeyan in Jordan's sights

The Madras-born 28-year-old, who would become India's first ever grand prix driver if he secures a deal, has strong links with Midland sporting director Trevor Carlin, having driven for Carlin Motorsport in British Formula 3 in 1999-2000 and the World Series by Nissan in 2003. He has sampled F1 machinery already, having tested for Jaguar and Jordan back in 2001 and since then for Minardi.

Karthikeyan has built a reputation in the junior formulae for being fast, exceptional in wet conditions, but prone to making too many unforced errors. He also has a 'nice guy' image and is a personal favourite of the down-to-earth Carlin.

Equally significantly, the Midland consortium has major interests in India, while F1 promoter Bernie Ecclestone would enthusiastically welcome the opportunity to tap into one of his biggest target markets.

While Karthikeyan's chances of making it to F1 have been massively boosted by the Midland buy-in, the new owners have also made overtures to Mexican Champ Car driver Mario Dominguez, who is due to hold talks with Shnaider in Toronto this weekend. Dominguez is under contract to race for HVM (formerly Herdez Competition) in the US-based series this season, but autosport.com understands that there are get-out clauses that would allow him to make the switch to F1 this year if the opportunity arises.

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