Karun Chandhok responds to Vijay Mallya’s F1 Indian driver criticism
Criticism from fans regarding no home born driver behind the wheels of F1’s only Indian team, prompted Force India boss Vijay Mallya to clarify his stance. He was quoted as saying “As far as the existing Indian drivers in Formula One are concerned, I can only feel very sorry for them. They are getting drives by the teams who clearly can’t compete. If that’s what they want to do, drive a Formula One car for the sake of driving a Formula One car and winding up at the back, I can’t do anything about it.”
The upcoming first race at the Delhi F1 track is an historic first and Vijay Mallya hasn’t taken lightly to criticism regarding not letting an Indian driver behind Force India’s cars. His message to disappointed fan was, “”My only response to them would be that I know more about Formula One than they do.”
Of course his honest opinion did ruffle quite a few feathers, and Karun Chandok responded by saying, “”I think it’s a bit sad that in one breath the chairman of our Indian ASN (national sporting authority) is talking about how much he has done for Indian drivers and then in the next breath he is criticizing India’s only two Formula One drivers.”
The Force India driving contingent comprises of German Adrian Sutil and Brit Paul di Resta, while Nico Hulkenberg, another German is the team’s test and reserve driver. It can also be noted that Karun Chandhok and Karthikeyan have never been given an alternative to drive for Force India.
Vijay Mallya has initiated a move to take raw talent to F1 with his ‘One in a Billion’ endeavor, which begins with local level karting events in India, and then take the right candidate through motorsport ranks to F1. In this context, Chandhok understands the need for the next Indian F1 driver, and feels that any aspiring Indian F1 driver would need to realistically begin at karting categories similar to where F1 drivers have started and that can’t happen through events on concrete 400 meter tracks and a single engine four-stroke rental karts.Having been involved with F1 for 30 years, Vijay Mallya owns the first Indian team in the history of the sport, and has done enough to add an Indian Grand Prix to the yearly race calendar.