Karun Chandhok joins HRT F1 for 2010

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

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

134 comments on “Karun Chandhok joins HRT F1 for 2010”

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  1. 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.

    1. 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.

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

  3. 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”

    1. That applies more to USF1! At least until Lopez got out of his contract!

  4. Totally agree with Sumedh

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

    Happy for him

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

  5. 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.

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

    1. Must be still on the transporter, between Italy and Spain

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

  8. BritishRacing
    4th March 2010, 15:39

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

    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIA_Super_Licence

      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!

      1. three4three
        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….

  9. BritishRacing
    4th March 2010, 15:40

    Super Licence ???

    1. 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

  10. HE tested for redbull in Barcelona on the 13th and 14th of November so he might have completed required 300km for super license

  11. They were the drivers of iSport in 2008. Senna destroyed Chandhok!

  12. Why did Hispania make him the first driver in the team?

    1. highdownforce
      4th March 2010, 16:16

      #21 is a number closely related to Bruno Senna sponsor Embratel, that’s why he has this number.

  13. What is happening in F1 this year is absolutely disgusting. Behind the top 4-5 teams we have a bunch of amateur drivers, such as this guy, who will either cause accidents left and right, or will be lapping 5-7 seconds slower than the front-runners, best case. Mosley’s idea to expand F1 in this direction was horrible. These amateur teams are only there to fill up the grid, nothing more. F1 needs to car manufacturers back. We have already had the USF1 fiasco, teams skipping the early races, changing names, appointing drivers (who have got no clue about driving an F1 car) at the last minute, etc, etc. And then we have idiots saying what a great idea this is that will help the sport expand in country XYZ, because there is a ‘driver’ on the grid from that country. And that ‘driver’ will do nothing more than cause accidents, crash out of races and look like an idiot finishing races 5 laps behind the top cars. Mosley is an idiot.

    1. Let’s just hope that the F1 stewards are strong enough to deal with them in the same way that Yuji Ide was dealt with in 2006

    2. Have to agree. I bet the front runners and especially guys like M.S will be gritting their teeth and waiting for the carnage on the first corner of the season! Can’t wait to hear what language Mark Webber’s comments will include if someone like Chandhok clips him.

      1. I’m sure if Mark Webber clips someone its ok….considering the incident free career he has had being an experienced ( more like a midpack fixture) front runner et all

        1. Check Webbers stats in Jaguar…for 2003 – 2004 I’m sure he got a ear full from the other front runners… and that Jag was much better car than what Karun would be driving….

  14. Well at least it looks like a F1 car.

    In 1997 Lola was 7 seconds off the pace… they weren’t allowed to race. How slow would these “underdogs” (no pun intended) would have to be ban from the grid?

    1. In 1997 there was a rule that cars who qualified outside of 107% of the pole position time weren’t allowed to race (and Lola were more like 13 seconds down on pole). The rule was introduced in 1996, after the Fortis were consistently embarrassingly slow the previous year.

      However, the 107% rule was dropped with the advent of single-lap qualifying in 2003, and there was never any suggestion of it being reintroduced. Additionally there is next to no precedent for refusing cars the right to race just because they are too slow. I don’t accept the argument that it would be “dangerous” to let slow cars race…the Le Mans 24 Hours is one example of a race where the speed differentials between classes are far greater.

  15. I wanted to see him in Force India instead of Tonio Liuzzi.

    OFF Topic:
    Team FI has only name india. but there is nothing indian.They never promote racing in india, never give chance to indian driver at least as test driver. Just bring their car to any auto expo/IPL for the display. That’s it. No road show.
    Even Renault(nelson piquet jr) and Red Bull(david coulthard) had road show in India.

    why Mallya named his team Force India?

    he could name as Kingfisher or any thing else(may be Force Mallya :) )
    his team is completely private(as his one of hobbies) and has noting to do with India.


    Best Luck to Karun .

    1. He tested both Karun and Neel Jani in simulator along with Paul di resta and JR Hildebrand but none of them delivered so FI didn’t pick them. And Mallya has said if Karun proves himself then he will be 1st to give him a GOOD shot at F1.Now Karun has a chance to prove himself.

      1. Karun doesnt have to prove himself to Mallaya anymore that ship has sailed….He just needs to come good on the track. If he does so other teams will be interested. In any case Force India is no longer an option for him…

  16. theRoswellite
    4th March 2010, 23:26

    Hey, we have a grid……….

    I’m glad to see new drivers from parts of the world traditionally unrepresented on F1 grids. I hope Mr. Chadhok’s presence creates increased interest in India and with Indians around the world. (…China…we’re still waiting?)

    Anyone calling for a testing dispensation for the new teams?

    If I was Hamilton, Massa or Vettel I’d certainly prefer that these new teams worked out some of their most basic operational problems during a test session rather than in the middle of a Grand Prix…especially one like Monaco!

    After all, in the years before our present draconian restrictions Sunday afternoon would not have been looked upon as a “testing opportunity”.

  17. Being an Indian I am happy that Karun has got a drive but I suspect he will deliver.There are two main reasons:
    1) He is in the car which has zero testing so first few races will be like testing for the car.
    2) Expectations of Indian fans are crazily high, so I think he will feel immense pressure which will let him down.
    My personal opinions though.

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