Karun Chandhok, Lotus, Melbourne, 2011

Lap one crash was my fault, admits Chandhok

2011 Australian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Karun Chandhok, Lotus, Melbourne, 2011
Karun Chandhok, Lotus, Melbourne, 2011

Karun Chandhok admitted his crash in the first lap of practice in Melbourne was his fault.

Chandhok was driving the Lotus T128 for the first time when he lost control of the car at the exit of turn three and hit the barrier.

He said: “I’m obviously disappointed to have had such a short run for my first time in the Team Lotus car, but I put my hands up to it and totally accept it was a combination of a slippery track and less grip than I expected from the tyres that combined to put me out so early.

“I’m just pleased the guys could get Jarno [Trulli] out in the afternoon session and it shows what a great team this is that they could get the car fixed that quickly to ensure Jarno could get a decent number of laps under his belt in FP2.”

Trulli added: “The team worked really well to get the car ready for the afternoon session but we struggled a bit with a few issues that meant I couldn’t really push.

“We’ll work tonight on set-up options and there are definitely some areas to look at where we can find some pace so I think tomorrow we’ll be OK.”

Lotus ended the day ahead of just the two Virgins and the two HRTs, the latter not setting any times.

Mike Gascoyne said the team had suffered some reliability problems: “In the second session we had a fuel pressure problem on Jarno’s car and an electronics issue on Heikki’s car, both of which limited our running, but we were able to solve those issues and work through most of the afternoon’s plan.

“For tomorrow there is a lot more to come from the car. We are clearly not quite where we expected to be in performance terms but we understand the reasons for that – it is proving quite tricky for us to get the best out of the tyres but we will work on that tonight and when we improve I am confident we will move up to where we expect to be in qualifying tomorrow.”

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60 comments on “Lap one crash was my fault, admits Chandhok”

  1. it reminded me of his first race last year..oh well, I never saw why so many people root for him

    1. Because he’s friendly, funny (he was handing out “I saw the Senna movie before Karun” t-shirts last year), and very knowledgeable about the sport when he was doing commentary for 5Live during Free Practice sessions.

      1. he should stick to selling shirts and commentating then

        1. Let’s be fair though – he hadn’t done one metre in that car before taking it to the track.

      2. And he did not hesitate to say it really was his fault. No stupid excused about something not feeling right with the car. A judgement error in a new car.

        Taking in consideration he’s not been in the car for almost half a year now, did not see much of the car before today and used a generic seat, It would not have been too easy driving.

      3. who gives a ***** about how friendly he is. He had an F1 car and he lost in his first lap. That shows you how incompetent he is. He doesn’t belong to F1 and being friendly, lovely, sexy, humble or whatever changes nothing. My granny is lovely, do you mind if Lotus gives her a try ?

        This guy is a joke. As for the fact that he recognized his mistake, he had no other choice

        1. Given how a lot of drivers behave when confronted with their own mistake, the alternative option seems to be quite popular.

          Everyone has good days and bad days. Unfortunately in F1 there’s never a good time to have the latter…

        2. Lots of fantastic drivers have made silly errors throughout their careers. I don’t rate Karun much but he’s had almost no time to show his worth in F1 given the testing ban and the fact he got lumped with the dreadful HRT for only part of a season so I think it’s a bit unfair to be so critical of him.

          1. He hasnt driven an F1 car for ages, and the last one he did drive had completely different performance and tyres.

            He clearly made a mistake… but hes not the only one to make a mistake as you said.

          2. I think in a sport, it’s only fair to be sporting to the drivers.

            Niceness doesn’t win you races, performance does, but owning up is the correct thing to do.

        3. Williams4ever
          25th March 2011, 15:41

          He doesn’t belong to F1 and being friendly, lovely, sexy, humble or whatever changes nothing.

          By that logic Button should have been culled out way back. But wait he got long enough stick for illegal double diffuser to win him a title.
          Sad but true – Ultimately maintaining Public Relationship with those who matter does matter. So good on Chandok for playing his cards right

          1. By that logic Button should have been culled out way back. But wait he got long enough stick for illegal double diffuser to win him a title.

            Button soundly beat Rubens in the first 7 races and dominated the field in a magnificent fashion. In the second half of the season the RB5 was clearly faster but Jenson did the job and deservedly got the trophy. He needed talent to do that.

          2. Steph is right, but i still think that Button’s 2009 championship is one of the easiest ones in F1’s history.

        4. “who gives a ***** about how friendly he is” – a lot of people. A person’s personality goes a long way. Just look at Alonso – one of the greatest on the grid yet hated by many because of his personality.

          1. Just look at Alonso – one of the greatest on the grid yet hated by many because of his personality.

            Exactly. He’ll always be remembered as a great, but his star will be dimmed by the negative perceptions of his personality by many out there.

            If you had someone identical to Alonso but with a more “pleasant” demeanour, you can guarantee they’d be seen as a “better” champion in history’s eyes.

  2. That’s not exactly the best way to get a race seat.

    1. Pretty good way to get out of one… Just ask Piquet ;)

      1. Actually Piquet had to crash quite a lot of times before getting out.

        1. Now I’m confused, I thought he crashed to stay in his seat…

          1. He crashed to stay in his seat after crashing so many times he would have lost it otherwise.

            No, Flavio Briatore’s head never made much sense to me either…

  3. Well, it’s more likely to happen right at the beginning when he’s still not used to the car than later on when he’s more familiar with it.

    1. Baring in mind his last car was an HRT, this Lotus is a step up in class.

      1. That HRT probably had a boatload of mechanical grip due to the fact that the aero sucked anyway. Between the different mechanical grip and new tires, he probably entered into a car that he flat out didn’t understand. At least he didn’t lose it under a safety car like others have done in the past… still dumb move though.

        1. Another reason they should allow some out of race testing, even if just for junior/reserve drivers.

          What happened to Antony Hamiltons race school idea?

          1. Williams4ever
            25th March 2011, 15:44

            What happened to Antony Hamiltons race school idea?

            I suspect Non McLaren teams blocked it, because there was strong possibility of McLaren using those cars to test parts etc during in-season.

            After all Anthony was planning to use old McLaren Cars to train his wards.

          2. Another reason they should allow some out of race testing, even if just for junior/reserve drivers.

            Lotus originally planned to give him a half day at Barcelona. Too bad they didn’t… Kind of their own fault for sticking their GP2 drivers in and not their “reserve” driver.

      2. The ultimate irony here with Karun’s performance today?

        HRT got more track time than he did…

        And he got more track time with HRT last year in his first appearance :)

          1. HRT got more lap time, and they only completed an installation lap! hahahahahaha aaaaaaah my aching sides :D

  4. What an absolute tool! Crashing before the fourth corner of your first lap with a new team! He’ll never live that down.

  5. James Williams
    25th March 2011, 11:53

    That’s the equivalent of someone crashing their new Ford Focus because it’s not their old Honda civic.


    1. except for the fact that an F1 car is infinitely more complex than a Focus (i am aware that you probably werent seriously comparing them) i dont get all the hate toward chandok, he might not be the fastest driver ever but hes a nice guy, and seems to know his stuff.

  6. I like the guy. He’s no worse than a few others about the grid or who have raced for slower teams before. A very easy scapegoat for the lazy though. Ah well.

    1. Exactly. Ok, he crashed in FP2 at Melbourne, but is that not his first run in a 2011 contender with the added pressure of not having pre-season testing time allocation to enjoy?

      1. FP1 was it not?

        1. Sorry yes, it was :)

  7. bear in my mind, even Lewis crashed his brand new car in the first 2007 winter test !!

    1. Good example Icemangrins. I forgot about that. Karun’s in a new car with zero testing on the new tyres on a track that was a bit slippery. At worst it was a bit of a dizzy moment from him.

    2. Although you have to feel sorry for TL and for Chandhok, I think it is a good for F1, because this is that sort of thing that will be discussed among fanatics and casual viewers – ”Barely half a minute had past of the 2011 season, and we already had a car in the wall!”

  8. Plenty of drivers lose control of their cars and have a bad moment – most of them are lucky enough to either not hit anything or ammend it – karun was not.

    It would be silly to judge him as a driver based on this incident, this is motorsport.

  9. he drove the red bull around korea well enough…

    1. That’s a car with 1000s of miles under it’s belt and Bridgestone tyres.

    2. toybot500 (@)
      25th March 2011, 22:33

      also it was drove very slowly, the real point here is he was a very good gp2 driver but the step up to f1 is immense and he wont be the last driver not to be able to step up to it

  10. Reminded me of Roberto Guerrero on the pace lap for the 1992 Indianapolis 500.


  11. ralph schumacer
    25th March 2011, 17:03

    the guy is a complete tool. Saw him loose the car this morning. It seemed almost surreal how it happened. The chap just cant drive to save his life. Saw him on 5th gear disgracing formula 1 drivers and loosing control of a Porsche Panamera.
    Lets call it a day mate.

  12. Didn’t Kimi have the same type of crash in australia 2009?

  13. Funny how at the time of the crash, karun was swearing blind on the radio that he didnt know what happened.

    So now he has admitted it was his fault.
    Think Lotus will be a little wary of letting him back in the car.

    It was a ridiculous, embaressing & quite a comical crash really.

    Karun may have the knowledge but he doesnt seem to have the ability – which is why I find him hard to take seriously when he critisizes better drivers during commentary.

  14. So unlucky, i see he has plummeted in most peoples rating of him, but for me it remains exactly the same. It could have happened to anyone. You cant just see that crash and then just think “yeah he’s rubbish get out of f1″ It’s a freak accident that he would never do again even if he did 10 grand prix distances back to back, It’s just one of those things.
    People are acting like he cant make it round a lap in an f1 car without crashing it, it’s a one off, of course he can drive a formula 1 car.

  15. There was that time when Jetlag was sufficient to explain such an accident. I guess teams have become too economical with their willingnss to understand. It wont surprise me much if the cause was just an unfamiliarity with these new tyres on a green track. Makes me wonder why he wasn’t allowes to do any pre season test.

  16. Senna crashes and dies, he stil remains the best driver the world has ever seen but Karun loses control and crashes, people here comment “Karun, its time to pack your bag and leave!”
    Freedom of speech is one thing, but abusing this young guy for a small mistake is just not cool. Its a new car for him, he hasnt driven in almost a year, he is as good as a rookie and given the state of the HRT last year, I still believe this is the first real F1 car he is driving! Lets wait a little bit longer before passing judgement i say.

    1. With his vast knowledge of motor racing I expect Chandhok himself would point out that’s an absolutely ridiculous comparison. It’s not as if we’re talking about two drivers who’ve each won 41 races…

    2. Oh pls….Dont compare Chandok with Senna!!

      1. Yeah why are there comparison between the two? Both are in two different planets when comes to driving.

  17. Fair play to him owning up to it, Trulli only just escaped a similar incident at the same plae in the same car.

    Alonso stuffed it into the barriers in FP3 at Monaco last year, when it mattered more that he didn’t crash the car, so it happens to everyone. It’s just that Chandhok did it straight out of the pits…

    It was quite funny though! :-D

  18. letmeshowyou (@)
    25th March 2011, 22:44

    Senna crashed because of steering column failure surely?

    Still gutted for Karun though. He definitely brightens up the place!

  19. Im glad Klein replaced him in the HRT when i was at Marina Bay….Chandok would have wasted my $$…..He nv deserved to be in Formula 1…

  20. PMccarthy_is_a_legend (@pmccarthy_is_a_legend)
    26th March 2011, 0:27

    I don´t really rate Karun. Lovely man, no doubt, and there are all kinds of reasons to explain his losing the car in the first lap, but the fact remains, the guy crashed the car three turns into his first lap. Not good, especially for a team like Lotus, with a tight budget and low number of spare parts.

    1. Do agree,even I don’t like the idea of giving some time to the third driver for this team who needs to prove a lot this year.

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