Karun Chandhok joins HRT F1 for 2010

Karun Chandhok has raced in GP2 for the last three years

Karun Chandhok has raced in GP2 for the last three years

Karun Chandhok has taken the last place on the 2010 F1 grid with HRT.

The Indian driver will partner Bruno Senna, who was his team mate at GP2 team iSport in 2008.

Chandhok has spent the last three years in GP2. He scored his first win in the category in the sprint race at Spa in 2007, and won again at Hockenheim last year.

He joined former F1 driver Tiago Monteiro’s Ocean Racing Technology team last year and was leading comfortably in the sprint race at Monaco last year when his car let him down. He ended the season 18th in the championship having finished tenth in 2008.

His appointment means Jose Maria Lopez, who was supposed to make his F1 debut with US F1, does not have an F1 race seat.

Chandhok is only the second Indian driver to race in F1. The first was Narain Karthikeyan who spent a single season at Jordan five years ago. Coincidentally, his team mate was Monteiro.

We also now have a complete list of 2010 F1 race drivers and teams with only a few reserve driver roles left to fill.

Read more: Karun Chandhok (Meet the rookies)

Image (C) Motioncompany

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134 comments on Karun Chandhok joins HRT F1 for 2010

  1. sumedh said on 4th March 2010, 13:45

    Good for Indian fans like me.

    Its good to see an increased Indian presence on the Formula 1 scene. It goes a long way in developing interest for the Indian GP in 2010.

    But I think more important than having just a driver is performance. When Narain entered F1 in 2005, there was similar hope but he failed to live upto the expectations of Indians (which are crazily high. No one expects Sachin to score anything less than a century when he comes out to bat).

    He even got beaten by his team-mate.

    I suspect similar fate will befall Karun. It is more important that Force India keeps performing consistently this year. That will increase the enthusiasm of the sport in India more than Karun’s appointment as the driver of a team that hasn’t yet turned a wheel.

    • Indian Fan said on 4th March 2010, 17:57

      @Sumedh…i don’t know if you watched the 2005 season mate…NK had a very aggressive style which did not suit the car…he is a very fine driver and by no means less than Karun…because of NK we were exposed to F1, and he did a brilliant job in a team which favoured Tiago Montiero!!!…and though i am overwhelmed for KC i have my doubts just like yours…if you look at Senna’s record KC will be beaten hands down…so just pray that he gives his best and proves us wrong…but never say NK was a bad driver..for me he’s a great Indian driver who would have done far better if luck had supported him(he wud have been driving a williams alongside nico rosberg had toyota not been in between..they brought with them to the team kazuki nakajima who has never shown any brilliance on track or off it. also NK was once rated better than Jenson Button in giving driver inputs to engineers…so you can just think he must be good enough to win atleast some races if not the championship!!!!)

  2. I already commented about that on my twitter account – according to some pictures I saw he shaved a spot betwen the eyebrows.

    I’m glad for him – he is on par with Webber for ammount of ill luck he has in racing. I’m really suprised why he isn’t driving for Force India – maybe they will take him on if he proves himself in Hispania…

  3. James said on 4th March 2010, 13:51

    I feel extremely sorry for Lopez. He was made promises and they werent delivered. I wonder if he has grounds for sue USF1/Ken Anderson?

  4. GeeMac said on 4th March 2010, 13:58

    So in the last few days the team have changed their name and confirmed their driver line up. Now there is the small matter of launching their car…

  5. Robert McKay said on 4th March 2010, 13:58

    I’m just glad Senna, the best of the three on paper, didn’t get booted for a Chandhok and Lopez combo. Probably on balance it worked out right in that respect.

    Can’t say I rate Chandhok much but Kobayashi’s GP2 career is not stellar but it didn’t stop him impressing in 2 outings for Toyota last season.

    Real problem though is that HRT have not tested and noone really knows how good a job Dallara have done on that chassis, especially given Campos was struggling to keep up the payments. How much effort and time did Dallara appoint to such a project? I doubt they will start the opening rounds on a level that matches Virgin/Lotus, but I’ve been wrong (many times) before :-D

  6. Northy said on 4th March 2010, 14:20

    Car launched at 16:00 according to Twitter, here’s hoping there are no more setbacks org anykind cause this campos/hrt, USF1, Stefan GP will they/ won’t they situation has gotten on my nerves.

    • I suppose Stefan GP is definitely not happening this year….very unfortunate thanks to the jokers at USF1….If USF1 had been more forthright about their participation earlier then Stefan would have been racing this year.

  7. Nixon said on 4th March 2010, 14:24

    i dont why they signed him. they should have signed Sebastien Burdais, remember him?

  8. lotus49 said on 4th March 2010, 14:24

    Beatles “Drive My Car”

    “I’ve got no car and it’s breaking my heart,
    But I’ve got a driver and that’s a start”

  9. Totally agree with Sumedh

    Another Indian fulfills his dream of becoming a Formula! driver :)

    Happy for him

    • What about the idea of a meritocracy? I know F1 clearly isn’t but wouldn’t it be a good aspiration?

  10. Yeah great news. it looks like they will have him for more than just this season, in which case he gets an opportunity to prove his worth. yes he will struggle this season, but thats the case with atleast six drivers. so its a battle in its own. his GP2 career was a mixed bag with some bad luck, he looked gud in 2008 with isport then landed in ocean which was worthless. heres his opportunity. if he does perform reasonably well among de new drivers, has an opportunity to land a Force India deal as there is growing frustration in India that Force India does not employ an Indian.

  11. Lustigson said on 4th March 2010, 15:17

    Still no pictures of the car? I thought it was introduced as well, this morning…

  12. Fer no,65 said on 4th March 2010, 15:32

    Lopez not even a reserve role in the team, apparently…

  13. BritishRacing said on 4th March 2010, 15:39

    Super Licence ??? Can he drive F1 machine without this licence ? 300 km drive F1 car…

    • LewisC said on 4th March 2010, 19:40


      Wikipedia seems to agree with you!

      Criteria for awarding the licence according to Appendix L:
      – five starts in F1 races in the previous year, or 15 starts in the past three years: No.
      – Previously test driver with F1 team: No.
      – Classified in top 3 of F2, GP2, or GP2 Asia in the past two years: No.
      – Top 3 of IRL or Champ Car: No.
      – Current F3 champion: No.

      – be judged by the FIA to have consistently demonstrated outstanding ability in single-seater formula cars, but with no opportunity to qualify under any of c) to e) above. In this case the F1 team concerned must show that the applicant has driven at least 300 km in a current Formula One car consistently at racing speeds, over a maximum period of 2 days, completed not more than 90 days prior to the application and certified by the ASN of the country in which the test took place.: No, and no opportunity to either – unless they organise a private test Monday/Tuesday next week!

      • three4three said on 4th March 2010, 19:57

        Good point, guess they’ll probably have to arrange a special test. I think it’s safe to say that Chandhok is the least qualified driver in F1 this year, shame he is there and Heidfeld isn’t….

  14. BritishRacing said on 4th March 2010, 15:40

    Super Licence ???

    • Christian said on 4th March 2010, 16:15

      Not the sexiest car in the world, but great to see it. We have our teams, drivers, and cars.

      Glad to see a Senna back on the grid.

      Lets go racing! :D

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