I was surprised to realise that Sachin is one of those guys who comes up to you and asks for advice if he feels you know better. This was at a karting track in Mumbai a couple of years ago. He was suffering from a tennis elbow injury and chose to drive with a single hand on the wheel. Still, he was really fast and his control over the kart was better than the instructors. There is a certain smoothness in his driving which made me realise what a gifted athlete he is. For regular people it takes a long time to master a car, let alone a kart.
We share a love for speed and Sachin has been very supportive over the years. When I was driving for Jordan in 2005, I was plagued with media requests and my managers were insisting that I interact as much as possible. It was all getting to be a bit too much.
That year Sachin came to at least three races. He told me to concentrate on the job and forget about the media. As a man who’s handled media pressure for so long, his words were a welcome balm. Thereafter I would withdraw from media interactions if they conflicted with my schedule free of any guilt. After all, I had been advised by the best.
(Karthikeyan, India’s only F1 driver, spoke to Sukhwant Basra)