He might be having to watch this weekend's German Grand Prix at Hockenheim from the sidelines, but Hispania Racing F1 2010 rookie Karun Chandhok has been enjoying some different four-wheeled high-octane action of late – by climbing behind the wheel of Keke Rosberg's 1982 world championship-winning Williams-Cosworth FW07.
The car may have triumphed only once that year – in the Swiss Grand Prix at Dijon-Prenois – but so tumultuous were the season's events, that just that single victory was enough for the original 'Flying Finn' to clinch the crown come the end of it.
Stepping back in time from his similarly Cosworth-powered HRT F110 to Rosberg's Williams of yesteryear at the 2010 Goodwood Festival of Speed earlier this month, Chandhok confessed that whilst the latter now comes across as rather rudimentary and basic compared to the ultra-sophisticated modern-day machinery, therein lies much of its charm and appeal.
“They were more pure racing cars,” the affable Indian reflected, speaking to Crash.net Radio
. “The ones we drive have so many electronics, so many systems on them, so many gadgets that make them work. The older cars were more simple; you still run a cable for the throttle, it's not fly-by-wire – just little things like that make a big difference.
“Goodwood was great fun, with fantastic cars – I can't believe I'd never been before! I just never had time, but I've already said now that I'm signed up for the next 20 years I think! It's a great event with so many fantastic cars to look at, and driving Keke Rosberg's Williams was really fun!
“I was only going slowly because it wasn't a normal circuit, so there's no tyre temperature and I was just cruising along. In the cockpit, a massive amount of vibrations come through and you sit so far forward, with so much of the weight and the engine and the gearbox behind you – so yeah, it's definitely very, very different.”
Asked, finally, whether he would have been keen to have raced one back in the day, the 26-year-old's response is instant and unequivocal.
“Why not?” he fires back. “F1 is F1; it's the pinnacle of the sport, and back then they didn't know any different, they didn't know any safer, they didn't know any quicker, they didn't know any better. In 20 years, time, the next generation will probably look at our cars now and say 'how did they drive that?' It is different, but you have to think about each thing in its era.”
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