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What He Said:
“A kid watching a Karun Chandhok on TV can’t get into his go-kart and drive off.”
Karun Chandhok, just the second Indian Formula One driver after Narain Karthikeyan, admits that Grand Prix racing is an elitist sport.
"When you come from a country like India, where you are one of the two people out of 1.2 billion, it’s a nice little exclusive club to be a part of.
One of two people out of 1.2 billion. That’s a huge disparity. Especially, when people throng to other sports.
Well, it’s only cricket, isn’t it? I think the main thing is infrastructure."
Chandhok made his F1 debut for Hispania Racing and is currently a test driver with Team Lotus.
On racing being glamorous and attracting WAGS, Chandhok shrugs:
"This is a glamorous sport, and we shouldn’t apologise for it because there is nothing wrong in it. It’s a fantastic selling point for the sport. WAGs you even have in cricket; they have Liz Hurley now, I hear."
On the Indian GP in NOIDA, Chandhok says:
"I’d love a great Indian crowd here. So far, we have sold about 60,000 tickets already which is great. I hope the teams and drivers enjoy it. They were asking me about Delhi and some of them want to go to Jaipur for a holiday, so I have become some sort of a tourism authority for them."
How did Chandhok get into the sport?
"My grandfather used to race in the '50s, my father used to race in the '70s, and in India getting into your family business is normal. I started go-karting when I was just six and I started racing when I was 16."
What Chandhok Really Meant:
“A kid watching Sachin Tendulkar can’t bat like him either, but at least he can try.”
What Chandhok Definitely Didn’t:
“You guys can speed race with souped-up engines instead—a la ''The Fast and The Furious.'"