Aditya Patel became the first Indian to get on the podium at the Buddh International Circuit on Saturday. However, instead of basking in glory, he was distraught at missing out on the top prize.
The podium in the F1 feeder series has also done little to sway his preference for GT racing over single-seaters.
Patel finished third in Round 11 of the JK Racing Asia Series (JKRAS), after a thrilling three-way battle with Afiq Ikhwan and Nabil Jeffri.
Even in the closing lap, Patel led but Ikhwan regained the lead at the next turn while Jeffri made a dive on the inside a few turns before the finish line.
‘Win would have been better’
“The feeling (of becoming the first Indian to get on the podium at the BIC) hasn’t sunk in, partly because I knew I could’ve won. The podium was good, a win would still have been better,” the 23-year-old told HT, as he now turns his attention to Sunday’s second race.
Having started out on single-seaters, and then spent one season in the Formula BMW Pacific championship, Patel’s had enough experience in single-seaters.
However, over the past four years, he has devoted himself to GT car racing, and in April this year was snapped up by German automakers Audi on a three-year deal, having competed in the Volkswagen Scirocco-R Cup in Germany, where he finished fifth overall in 2011.
The Audi deal has great potential with possible opportunities to compete in top international racing series like the FIA World GT1 championship, the World GT Masters and DTM (German touring car championship).
“The deal with Audi is a great chance for me to grow as a driver and take it to the next level.
“This podium is great, but my priorities remain the same. Single-seaters are fine, but at the moment my focus is on touring car championships,” the Chennai native stated firmly after the race.