Michael Schumacher’s luck on track, during the course of a distinguished pro career, ran out on the ski slopes. Pointing out the irony, Narain Karthikeyan said: “Schumacher had a lot of luck in his race career, only to suffer a big accident. We all hope he recovers though news from the hospital is not positive.” Dr. Gary Hartstein, ex-F1 doctor, is reported to have warned fans to “prepare for the worst” about the champion's recovery.

Karthikeyan is set to become the first Indian in Super Formula 2014 series in Japan, driving for Team Impul Hoshino Racing. The eight-race series start on April 13 at Suzuka and concludes on November 9 at the same venue. Fuji Speedway, Twin Ring Motegi, Autopolis and Sportsland Sugo are the other circuits. Tata Sons and Tata Motors are supporting him.

Other drivers to take part in the Super Formula, involving Dallara SF 14 cars weighing 650ks (inclusive of driver) include former F1 drivers Vitantonio Liuzzi, Takuma Sato and Kazuki Nakajima, Le Mans winners and World Endurance Champions Andre Lottterer and Loic Duval. Karthikeyan’s teammate at Team Impul is Joao Paulo de Oliveria, the 2010 Super Formula winner.

Karthikeyan raced in the Auto GP World Series in 2013 and recorded five wins, four pole positions. “I was fastest in the test drive last December at Fuji and got chosen,” he said. “The Dallara cars (550 bhp power) are 50 kilos lesser than F1 and at race pace can be as fast, if not faster. With fast corners and KERS, drivers need to train harder. I have been asked to reduce weight in time for the opener.”

Dr. Mukund Rajan, Tata Sons (Member Group Executive Council), said: “We have been supporting Narain for past 12 years. We are confident that he will continue to make India proud in 2014 Super Formula season.”

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