Karun Chandhok destined for F1?
It seems we are likely to see India’s 2nd F1 driver this year, with Karun Chandhok on the verge of stepping up with Campos. His father Vicky is a leading figure in Indian motorsport and is said to be close to Bernie, so it is not particularly surprising from that angle, but that is not to say he’s in just because of that – he is bringing money as well.
His record is nothing to sniff at, though. Whilst his record in the lower formulae was patchy, bar a couple of title wins in Asia including the Formula Renault V6 Asia title in 2006, since joining GP2 in 2007 he has matured and has been competitive. His first win came for Durango in his maiden season at Spa, and followed it up with another at Hockenheim after moving to iSport the following year. Last year he raced for Tiago Monteiro’s Ocean team, although his season was a disappointing one, with just a single podium and fastest lap and finishing 18th overall.
5 podiums in 60 starts is hardly a Hamilton-esque record in the series but he is competant. He also tested for the Red Bull team in late 2007, so he has F1 driving experience. I doubt he’ll keep up with ex-iSport team mate Senna (if Bruno is to retain his seat, that is) but I doubt he will be an Ide. And on the whole, it is positive news for Indian motorsport – although, unlike Bernie wanted, it is not with Force India, the Indian flag will once again be on the grid in a key year for the sport, with the Indian Grand Prix debuting in 2011.