Vicky Chandhok is worried F1 may soon be without an Indian driver.
Chandhok, the Indian motor sport federation’s president, has already seen his son Karun’s F1 career end due to a lack of sponsorship. And now it is suggested F1’s other Indian driver, Narain Karthikeyan, may lose his HRT seat at the end of the season.
“After Narain and Karun, I really can’t see an Indian driver for the next, I would say, eight to 10 years,” Chandhok snr told CNN.
“Formula One has become all about money,” he said. “It never was earlier, you could find a slot with just talent. The Formula One teams have decided that even if you’ve got talent, let’s have your chequebook as well — bring in five, 10, 20 million dollars and (then) let’s give you the seat,” he added.
Karun Chandhok insists he has no regrets despite having to look back on a short F1 career.
With F1 returning to his native India this weekend, thee 28-year-old insists he is not disappointed that his new foray is sports car racing. Chandhok raced part of the season for HRT in 2010 until he switched to Caterham (then Lotus) as reserve driver, even standing in for Jarno Trulli in Germany mid last season. He now races full-time in the FIA’s endurance sports car championship.
“I have no regrets because I did everything possible to make things happen in F1,” Chandhok told the Times of India. “When you feel you wasted an opportunity, then you feel disappointed. (But) if you can’t get the sponsorship, if you can’t get the money you need … that’s life and you just need to get on with it.”