Adam Khan rebranded – goodbye A1GP, hello F1

By LJ Hutchins

CalendarSaturday, May 30th, 2009


For those people wondering what happened to A1GP’s Team Pakistan seatholder and driver Adam Khan this year, it appears that he’s been in the middle of a serious rebranding exercise.

Khan, who has recently taken up a demonstration driver role with the Renault F1 team, is focusing strongly on his Formula One links – most recently with the release of a Q&A from the team in which he talks about what it’s like to drive the current Renault compared with last year’s.

The change of focus was signalled earlier this year with the launch of a new website.

It stresses his GP2 record and his work with Renault, and acknowledges his involvement in A1GP for Team Pakistan – but the 2008/09 A1GP season, during which his car never made it to the racetrack, does not get a mention after its preview under ‘teams’.

Adam Khan against a glowering sky, on duty for A1 Team Pakistan in Australia

Adam Khan against a glowering sky, on duty for A1 Team Pakistan in Australia

In fact, you have to look pretty hard to find out much about the series at all, although there is a Team Pakistan banner in the downloads sections, some data about the car and the preview, which sets out his expectations at the season start but makes no reference to what actually happened.

Yorkshireman Khan holds dual British and Pakistani citizenship, and his A1GP service led to his appointment as an official government ambassador for motor sports in Pakistan. In 2006 he was presented with a young achievers award by the country’s president.

However, on the new website he describes himself as “a young British racing talent of Asian descent” – and the site’s forums contain several bitter posts from Pakistani fans unhappy to discover his British links.

Khan has always struck us as here at BritsOnPole an extremely astute young businessman with a clear eye on his long term career development. For example, how many young drivers would have had the nous to sit out a season of A1GP to finish their degree?

While there’s nothing on the site or in the Renault material to suggest he’s walking away from A1GP or Team Pakistan for good, it perfectly clear where he feels his racing future lies. Firmly with Renault.

The F1 team’s new Q&A with Khan sees him talk about his recent experience driving this year’s R29. In it he says: “Both the aero tests have been a great experience for me and I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to drive the R29 and help with its development.

Renault demonstration driver Adam Khan with a new toy

Renault demonstration driver Adam Khan with a new toy

“Even though I was only doing straight-line aero runs, I was able to learn a lot about the car and hopefully gave the engineers some useful feedback.”

His more usual job is to drive last year’s R28 at Renault Road Show events and other promotions – and Khan says he could feel the difference between the two: “This year the cars have reduced aerodynamics and I definitely felt that during the aero test as I’m used to driving the R28.

“Inside the cockpit both cars feel almost exactly the same, although there are a few different buttons and functions on the steering wheel in this year’s car, but I quickly got used to them.”

He says of a recent drive at Spa-Francorchamps: “To drive an F1 car at probably the greatest circuit in the world was an immense privilege. Spa has always been one of my favourite tracks as it’s so fast and flowing and has a lot of history.

“The approach to Eau Rouge was probably the most exciting part of the lap, but overall it’s the perfect venue to appreciate the power, grip and performance of an F1 car.”

And he finishes by talking about what circuit he is anticipating the most: “Probably the season finale in Abu Dhabi. It’s a completely new venue for Formula 1 with an exciting new circuit built especially for this event.

“My family has its roots in the region and so it will be exciting to witness such a spectacular race in this part of the world.”

It’s clear he hopes that he’ll be making a return to a few of these circuits – behind the wheel of an F1 race car.

8 responses to “Adam Khan rebranded – goodbye A1GP, hello F1”:

  1. Steve Corry Says:

    May 31st, 2009 at 3:59 am

    This guy is a muppet. Serious racing drivers RACE, not spend all of their time doing demo runs!

  2. ljh Says:

    May 31st, 2009 at 8:17 am

    > This guy is a muppet.

    No, you’re thinking of Heikki Kovalainen, arent’ you?


  3. Andy Says:

    May 31st, 2009 at 8:26 am

    Personally, I wonder how serious a racer he is – at the moment his career trajectory seems to be a primer for following the Bernie Ecclestone / Jonathan Palmer route. Do a bit of driving and then go into ownership and administration and grow rich and/or influential.

  4. KMJ Says:

    May 31st, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    “Do a bit of driving and then go into ownership and administration and grow rich and/or influential.” … leaving the Pakistan A1GP fans (of which there are many judging by the official A1GP Fanzone and Adam Khan’s site) with no team.

  5. Andy Says:

    May 31st, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    If he’s any sort of businessman, he’ll find a way of avoiding that. And if he’s not, he won’t. It’ll be an interesting test of the man.

  6. KMJ Says:

    May 31st, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    Well seeing as the team missed the entire A1GP season then he can’t be much of a businessman. If he knew he wouldn’t drive, he could have at least sold the team to someone who wanted it – how can he make money from a team that doesn’t drive?

  7. haider Says:

    September 6th, 2009 at 5:50 am

    he is a traitor to Pakistan! thats all i can say…

  8. LJH Says:

    September 7th, 2009 at 10:19 am

    We understand your frustration – while there do seem to have been genuine problems with that chassis at the beginning of the season, it was certainly odd that the Team Pakistan car didn’t put a wheel to the tarmac in anger all season, and it will have been hugely disappointing to a lot of passionate motorsport fans that Khan didn’t race.

    However we do ask that people don’t leave comments solely to abuse specific drivers – you can read our full comment policy here:

    Constructive criticism is welcome – and we share your view that there are certainly grounds for criticism here. But please keep it constructive.

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