Lotus racer's family confident he will bounce back strongly after Indian GP snub
NEW DELHI: Even as motorsport fans across the country are stunned by the news that Karun Chandhok will not be racing at the inaugural Indian GP on Sunday, the Chandhok household has accepted it with a positive outlook, camouflaging their disappointment just like the decibel-defying sound of an F1 car drowns the fans' screams in the Grand Stand.
Karun Chandhok (left) with dad Vicky and brother Suhail (right)
Lotus Racing team yesterday announced that reserve driver Karun will not replace Jarno Trulli this weekend and instead would only drive at the first Free Practice on Friday morning. Karun's father Vicky, who is the president of the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI) and also track consultant of the Buddh International Circuit, was prepared for such a scenario.
Karun's mom Chitra
"While I'm obviously hugely disappointed for Karun at this point, I know that on the back of his performances in the last three sessions he's had in the car, that he can certainly look forward to being rewarded in the long run in F1. He'll come out stronger as he has in the past and I hope the Indian public continue to keep the faith and show their support."
Mother Chitra, an MBA banker, whose life, in her own admission, turned on its head after she was married into the racing-mad Chandhok household in 1982, sought spiritual aid in these trying times. "As a mom, I only pray and surrender to God's will for the family. To be a motorsport family demands a lot of faith, love and committment and while we're not together a lot, we try and look at the lighter side of every situation as a family and move forward knowing that God has a great plan in store for Karun and us," said Chitra. "Karun is a person born to inspire sportsmen and whether he's driving this Sunday or not, he is certainly the best ambassador of goodwill for F1 in India. Vicky has always taught Karun and Suhail how to always smile in the face of adversity and has been an amazing role model to them," added Chitra.
Younger brother Suhail, an award-winning former Adelaide University cricketer, who even attended trials for the Vijay Mallya-owned IPL team Bangalore Royal Challengers, admitted it would be tough on Karun especially since he's literally seen the BIC built from mud to mansion along with his father. "I'm sure Karun is disappointed with the development. He's been with the project since the circuit was a piece of dirt and has done everything he could to promote the Indian GP to the world.
But he's as professional as they come and is looking forward to driving at the first Free Practice and give his best in front of the home fans," said Suhail. A host of motorsport fans expressed their disappointment online with Karun's twitter page flooded with over a 1000 messages (some sympathetic, some angry), less than a couple of hours after the news broke yesterday. In fact, a huge set of Karun's friends and family will be flying into Delhi just to watch him drive.
"We've got over 250 of Karun's friends and relatives travelling to Delhi from Chennai to watch him in action on Friday, so that should be great for him," said Suhail. "Karun only talked cars when we were kids and we always knew F1 is where he is meant to be. Karun believes 'if it doesn't kill you, it'll make you stronger' and he's always practiced it too. So, while I know for a fact that Tony Fernandes (Lotus Racing team principal) is very fond of Karun, I'm hoping he definitely has a future plan for him considering Karun has age on his side. He will definitely have his time next year."