India Sports
Chandhok takes a step towards his F1 dream
Apr 9, 2007 - 7:33:15 PM

New Delhi, April 9 - Having won the inaugural Asian Formula Renault V6 series last year, Indian driver Karun Chandhok will now take part in Grand Prix - 2 races, which will be a stepping stone to his Formula 1 dreams.

'My career has been on the right-path right from winning the national championship title followed by the Formula Asia Championship, then on to Formula 3 and winning the Renault V6 series last year,' Chandhok said in a press statement.

'GP2 is a huge step forward and 2007 will be the first in what should be a two-year programme. I am now just one final step away from Formula 1,' said the 23-year-old.

Chandhok will be representing Italy-based Durango Racing Team and the first race of the series will be held Friday at Sakhir in Bahrain. He will also be having a new sponsor this year in energy drink major Red Bull.

The GP2 series, which is owned and run by F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, Flavio Briatore and Bruno Michel from Renault is recognised as the best stepping stone to the F1 stage.

'The drivers competing come with a massive pedigree behind them with a lot of them bringing F1 experience, which will undoubtedly be beneficial. My aim for the season is certainly to score the odd points in the first half of the season and then aim to be a regular point scorer by the end,' Chandhok said.

If things go well, then the 23-year-old from Chennai will be the second Indian after Narain Karthikeyan, to take part in the F1 circuit. Karthikeyan, who was a race driver with Jordan team in his debut season in 2005-06, is now a test driver with BMW Williams.

Chandhok was the youngest to win the 2001 Asian Formula Championship at the age of 17 and two years later, he was third in the British Formula 3 Championship.

Ecclestone congratulated Chandhok and said: 'I have been guiding Karun in his quest to compete in GP2 as he progresses towards Formula 1. This is an exciting time for him and I wish him all the success for the season ahead.'

Some of the F1 drivers like Lewis Hamilton -, Heikki Kovaleinnen and Nelson Piquet Jr. -, Nico Rosberg -, Scott Speed and Neel Jani - have passed out from the GP2 series.

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