F1 »

Chandhok 'disappointed' – but still firmly set on F1 dream

Karun Chandhok has admitted that he was 'disappointed' to have been overlooked for a Formula 1 role in 2009, but insists that he remains fully focussed on his 'dream' of being on the starting grid for the first-ever Indian Grand Prix in two years' time.

Given his family's close links with Force India F1 chairman and managing director Vijay Mallya, and two promising seasons in the GP2 Series feeder category, many assumed that Chandhok would be a shoe-in for either a race seat or at the very least a testing position with the Silverstone-based squad this year, but with Mallya electing to retain his 2008 line-up in its entirety, there was no room at the inn for the man from Chennai.

Whilst that inevitably came as a source of frustration for a young driver desperate for the chance to prove his mettle at the very highest level – having already impressed mightily during a test outing for Red Bull Racing at Barcelona in late 2007, lapping just three tenths of a second shy of 13-time grand prix-winner David Coulthard – Chandhok is phlegmatic about the way things turned out.

Pointing to the severe testing restrictions that have been brought into force in the top flight for this season, the 25-year-old added that he may have stood a better chance of promotion had he enjoyed a better second half of his GP2 campaign with iSport International last year – one that saw him fail to trouble the scorers for the final seven races in succession, due to a run of chronic ill-fortune.

“I'm a little bit disappointed, of course,” he reflected, speaking exclusively to Crash.net Radio. “Everybody wants to be in Formula 1 – that's the dream – but if you look at the grid in F1, it's very young at the moment. At the end of the day, guys have to come out for new guys to go in.

“The only driver who has gone in is [Sébastien] Buemi, and he was destined to be there anyway; it was almost pre-decided by Red Bull that he would be in F1 this year, so that wasn't a great surprise. Okay, possibly Bruno [Senna – 2008 iSport team-mate] might go to Honda if it happens, but right now Buemi is the only one who has gone in.

“It's not an easy situation at the moment to get into F1, and as for a test driving role, they've changed the regulations, so what really is the role of a test driver anymore? I think if we sit down in October or November and tot up the number of days a test driver has done, it will probably be only two or three days.

“I can understand why they've changed the regulations, because it's part of the cost-cutting thing which is good for the teams, but it's crap for the test drivers and young drivers like myself. It's not an easy time.

“Vijay's got two drivers under contract for this year, and if I'm perfectly honest about it, in the second half of my season last year we had so much bad luck, with seven races in a row where we didn't score any points and we plummeted from fourth or fifth in the championship on Saturday night in Budapest to tenth at the end of the year.

by Russell Atkins


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Karun Chandhok - iSport Intyernational   [pic credit: GP2 Series]
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


Jimmy - Unregistered

March 03, 2009 11:01 PM

Nothing Chandhok's done in GP2 suggests he's any quicker than Sutil and his lack of F1 mileage means Fisi is a better with the new regs, so it's no surprise he's not in there. In fact, it reflects well on Mallya. He's got ties to Karun and obviously wants an Indian in the car but he seems to have chosen his driver line-up based on what's best for the team.

AK - Unregistered

March 04, 2009 8:15 AM

lmao! fisi and sutil are best u can get for force india atm????? hahahahah roflmao! dude u crackin me up.. infact the guy who agreed with you cracks me up even more.. what a riot! sutil and fisi are the worst of the lot in f1 right now. Younger and new teams especially backmarkers bring talent into the field. eg. minardi brought alonso , webber. and sauber petronas got massa. FOrce India seems like the hot bed for retiring drivers lol. neway chandhok say bye bye to mallya uncle! u aint seeing more of your uncle this year!



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.