Mar.9 (GMM) Karun Chandhok has returned the compliment to Bernie Ecclestone, after the F1 chief executive welcomed the sport’s second ever Indian driver to the grid.
Briton Ecclestone, 79, was rumoured to have been instrumental in brokering the rescue of the Campos team by Jose Ramon Carabante and new boss Colin Kolles.
Renamed HRT, the Spanish outfit then appointed 2-time GP2 race winner Chandhok as Bruno Senna’s teammate, triggering Ecclestone’s statement that India is among “the most important and powerful players in the world of business, culture and sport”.
“Bernie has always been a superb pillar of support to me and my family,” the 26-year-old, whose father is the well-connected Indian motor racing official Vicky Chandhok, responded in an interview with F1’s official website.
“It’s amazing how much that man (Ecclestone) can do in a single day!” Chandhok added.
HRT will begin Friday practice in Bahrain this week with two rookie drivers and a car that has never turned a wheel, but Chandhok is happy with his role for the 2010 season.
“Of course everyone wants to drive for a top team, but if the opportunity isn’t there you have to evaluate the options,” he said.
“Undoubtedly I would rather be racing for HRT than a test driver somewhere else under the new regulations.”