Kakarla Kumar Ram Narain Karthikeyan has been awarded the Padma Shri Award in recognition of his contribution to the field of Indian motorsports. Karthikeyan, known by the sobriquet 'the fastest Indian in the world' is the only Indian driver so far to have raced in Formula 1. Karthikeyan's stint in the sport was with the Jordan team in 2005. Narain has also raced in A1 GP and the Le Mans Series, among other international championships.
Upon learning of his award, Narain said, “I am deeply honoured and humbled by the Government of India in receiving this award. It is truly a great day, not only in my life, but also in the life of Indian Motorsport. I have countless people to thank and credit for this achievement – first and foremost of which is my family, without whose unrelenting support, my career would not have taken the path it has. My sponsors, the Tata Group, Bharat Petroleum, JK Tyres and Amaron, who have supported me for so many years, as well as MRF Tyres, with whom I have recently entered into a partnership, have also been crucial to my success as a racing driver. I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every person at all of these companies who have supported and believed in me for so many years. Last, but not least, I owe a huge debt of thanks to all of my fans, who have cheered me on through all of my successes. I dedicate this award to all of them.”