THE Tata Group has entered in a major new sponsorship association with Team Williams F1.
As a result of this association, brand ambassador Narain Karthikeyan has been signed as the second test and reserve driver by Williams F1 team.
"The Tata Group has once again reaffirmed its continued support to Narain Karthikeyan as he takes another important step in his budding Formula One career," the Tata Group said in a news release.
Narain's appointment as the second test driver for Team Williams implies that he along with Alexander Wurz will have to share the test driver's role for the 19 races in the F1 calendar in 2006.
Australian Mark Webber and Germany's Nico Rosberg are the two main drivers for Williams and the test/reserve driver will fill in should either be unable to race.
This is also the first time that Team Williams F1 has associated itself in a major sponsorship deal with an Indian sponsor.
"The Tata Group stands to benefit immensely with this association, as the TATA brand would be displayed prominently on the FW28's nose, the drivers' helmets and overalls, as well as on various locations across the team environment," the release said.
According to the release, Narain Karthikeyan says, "I am extremely happy at this new breakthrough in my F1 career.
This is a big thing for me. I share a long-standing association with the Tata Group. They have stood by me at all times and once again, it is the Tata Group that has come forward and supported me in my pursuit of this F1 journey.
"The ideal scenario would have been to be a race driver. But being part of a superior team like Williams and under the guidance of a great legend by Sir Frank Williams, I am sure I would be able to gain much needed experience and improve my chances for a permanent berth in 2007."