“It would have been nice to have an Indian driver in an Indian team and if it happens in future, it would be nice for the country,” the Chennai native opined. “I'm happy Hispania gave me a chance to race. I have nothing personal against Vijay – it's his team, his business. He had contracts with both his drivers and he chose to honour that, so maybe the test drive was all they could offer – and after the new regulations came into being, it's always better to be a race driver than a test driver.”
With his Sakhir showing having been so short-lived, finally, Chandhok has revealed that he is treating the forthcoming race weekend as his true 'debut' in the top flight, having completed barely a handful of laps in the desert kingdom. The outing around Albert Park will also represent the GP2 Series race-winner's first real start in F1, having begun the Bahrain Grand Prix from the pit-lane – and at circuit he has never driven before to-boot...
“For me, my first weekend is Melbourne,” he told SPEEDtv.com
. “In Bahrain there was plenty of activity in the garage, but not much on the track! Over the weekend we did just four laps in qualifying. We had fuel on-board, we had the safety map for the engine because it was an installation run, and I wasn't really in qualy mode.
“We changed a lot of stuff because we hadn't run the car at all. In qualy I did installation laps and after installation laps, you have to take the car and check it out, so we started from the pits because we'd changed some stuff on the car. For my car it was a no-brainer.
“[On the second lap] I just caught a bump. Obviously we'd done no set-up work, we hadn't done anything, just a roll-out, so the car was not set up for the bumps. I found a bump that I didn't know existed because I'd not driven the new part of the circuit more than four timed laps in qualy. It just hit a bump, the car bounced more than I expected [and] got on the exit curb. I had no steering, I was on the plank and I just spun. It just kissed the barrier.
“I wasn't pushing, I just caught a bump at the wrong angle and it spat me off, just a legacy of not running the laps. It was just not doing enough mileage. We were not racing during the weekend, we were participating and we were testing...”