As racers, you have seen them clocking a speed of 350km/hr, but when on Delhi roads, these F1 drivers confess they turn into ‘scared’ amateurs. Chatting up with us, three speedsters, Jenson Button, Nico Rosberg and India’s Karun Chandhok, share that Indian roads are as much a nightmare for them, as it is for the common Indian.
“I have been racing for 25 years and the first time I came to India, as a passenger on the roads, I was the most scared I have ever been in my whole life. It’s pretty crazy with so much movement in the lanes,” says 33-year-old British racer Jenson Button. And what’s more, Button confesses that the craziness on Indian roads really got to him. “I had my eyes closed till I reached the circuit (in Greater Noida). I have got a feeling that India’s going to have some more good Formula One drivers in the future just from driving on the roads,” he jokes.
28-year-old German racer, Nico Rosberg, echoes Button’s thoughts, but is quick to credit Delhi’s drivers, saying, “I think all the drivers here are very talented. There’s so much going on the road and yet they manage to avoid accidents.” However, road safety, feels Nico, should be looked into by authorities. “The (road) safety standards here are not like they are in Europe. There’s scope for improvement,” he says.
India’s 29-year-old racer Karun Chandhok, says that he doesn’t drive fast on Delhi roads either, though he is used to Indian traffic. “I don’t drive fast when I am driving on the roads. People usually drive fast to get a buzz, but I get that when I drive at a speed of 350 km/hr on the track. On the road, I just sit in the traffic like all others,” he says. In fact, he feels that driving fast, or trying a new skill on the wheel, should not be done on the road. “I understand that the youth of the country wants to drive fast, but it should be done in a safe environment and not stupidly on the roads,” adds Chandhok.