Chandhok gets a first shot at Formula One
Chandhok, who became the first Indian to win a GP2 series race at the Spa Francorchamps circuit in Belgium earlier this year, will be testing for the Red Bull Formula One team, reports Khurram Habib.india Updated: Nov 06, 2007 23:22 IST
While Narain Karthikeyan's chances of driving a Formula One car again might be taking time to materialise, Karun Chandhok, the other Indian star on the motor racing grid, got his first big break.
Chandhok, who became the first Indian to win a GP2 series race at the Spa Francorchamps circuit in Belgium earlier this year, will be testing for the Red Bull Formula One team at the Circuito de Catalunya in Barcelona on November 13 and 14.
The opportunity comes as Red Bulls' Sebastien Buemi will be competing in the Macau F-3 race.
"Of course, it is a big break for me. The Red Bull team has supported me the whole of this past season," Chandhok told the Hindustan Times from England, just before leaving for the team factory for a session at the car simulator (to get a feel of the mechanics of the car).
"This is an opportunity and a test. They put in a lot more work in Formula One, so this experience will definitely help me.”
“Though right now, racing F-1 car is still sometime away. Opportunities apart, I have my plans according to which I'll spend some more time in GP2," he added.
It is a sweet reward for Chandhok, who, during A1 Grand Prix's first season had to leave the team due to issues with the team management.
After the first two races, he soon found himself out of favour in Team India and then, parted ways.
Since then, he's been concentrating on other races, including the GP2 series and at the Spa circuit, he did a first for India.
Chandhok had, through a press release on Tuesday said, the GP2 season had helped him re-establish himself in Europe.
It is learnt that Bernie Ecclestone, the F-1 boss, helped him get through to the GP2 series.
The F-1 chief is said to be one reason why he isn't participating in the A1 GP — apart from the sour experience he's had in the past.
Though he'd only say, "At the moment I am only concentrating on GP2 series."
Chandhok had a fairly impressive run in the British Formula 3 racing. Last year, in October, the 23-year-old became the Formula Asia V6 champion. In 12 races there, he finished on top seven times and had nine pole positions.
This test session will be the first of the winter test sessions for the 2008 Formula One season.
With the presence of big names, it could just be the opportunity, Chandhok was looking for.
First Published: Nov 06, 2007 23:19 IST