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 July 23, 2002 | 1845 IST

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Narain 'not under pressure'
in F1 quest

India's motor racing icon Narain Karthikeyan says he's not under any pressure in his quest towards becoming India's first Formula One driver.

"I am not under any kind of pressure, and I have not set any deadline to achieve this objective," the 25-year-old from Coimbatore, who is the first Indian to participate in the Formula 3 championships, declared, after he was presented a customised 'Tata Indica' by his sponsors, Tata Engineering, in Chennai on Tuesday.

The 'Fastest Indian on wheels' said he would be embarking on his next Formula 1 test drive in November or December but did not reveal the team he would be racing for.

"My managers will decide which team I shall be driving for," he clarified, exuding confidence of coming out with flying colours.

Karthikeyan, who became the first Indian to drive a Formula 1 car in June 2001, when he tested with Jaguar at Silverstone, said he is satisfied with the deal being offered by current sponsors Tata, hastening to add it is better than what Ford, who had signed him on for two years in 1999, had given him.

He refused to comment on the current stand-off between the Federation of Motorsports Clubs of India and the Motorsports Association of India.

"I cannot comment on this. I am not the person to say anything," he said, when asked if he thought that both the warring bodies should work together in the interest of motorsports in India.