All these years later, Alonso is still going strong. Only a few days ago, the 41-year-old Alonso signed a multi-year contract with the Aston Martin F1 Team.
Karthikeyan believes that the Spaniard has enough spark left to keep going for another decade.
“Alonso has a lot of motivation left in him; he is beating drivers half his age. It is incredible. He has left Formula One to do a bunch of other things like IndyCar, but he has always returned strongly to Formula One. He hasn’t slowed down one bit. I don’t see Alonso going down for the next 10 years,” Karthikeyan said, at the launch event of Turtle Wax Car Care Studios here on Wednesday.
On four-time champion Sebastian Vettel, who announced his retirement recently, Karthikeyan said. “There is no doubt that Vettel is a great driver. Vettel made the right call with respect to retirement, as a driver tends to lose motivation when he moves to smaller teams.”
It has been a decade since an Indian driver featured on the Formula One grid. Jehan Daruvala was tipped to be next in line, but an inconsistent show in the 2022 FIA Formula 2 Championship thus far has dented his chances of making the cut. After a bright start to the campaign, the Prema Racing driver has fallen to fifth in the driver standings.
“It will be a long wait (to see an Indian driver in F1). Jehan needed a very good F2 season with race victories, but that has not happened. His season has been average. There are a lot of drivers with big budgets and better results waiting to get that F1 break. It is a very competitive field. I don’t see it happening for Jehan next year,” Karthikeyan said.