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Patel at peace despite F1 looking far away

There was a time when 23-year-old Aditya Patel was like every aspiring racing driver in India. He wanted to get into Formula 1, and get in badly.

india Updated: Sep 05, 2011 23:54 IST
Vinayak Pande

There was a time when 23-year-old Aditya Patel was like every aspiring racing driver in India. He wanted to get into Formula 1, and get in badly. Having won the now defunct Rolon Championship in India and completing a season of Formula BMW Pacific (now the JK Asia Racing Series), Patel was trying to find a way to get his foot into the door in single-seater racing in Europe.

A drive in Formula 3 or GP2 could have had him following in Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok's footsteps but as is often the case in racing, the question of money reared its ugly head.

"A season in GP2 costs $ 2m," said Kamlesh Patel, Aditya's father. "A sponsor in India would give us R5 lakh and that too with difficulty."

Money, however, is only one part of the decision-making process that led Patel to race in Volkswagen's single make Scirocco R Cup. "I think like every kid I wanted to get into F1," said Patel. "But then you look at the reality of the situation and you see how much more there is out there, so that helped me make a decision."

Patel is into his third season of racing in a single make racing series run by Volkswagen. He doesn't particularly mind if he doesn't get to realise the dream of so many aspiring F1 drivers. "I have no regrets about not doing F1...I'm happy with the way things are."

The writer's trip has been sponsored by Volkswagen.