Karun Chandhok, Lotus, Monza, 2011

Should Chandhok and Karthikeyan race in India?

Debates and pollsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Karun Chandhok, Lotus, Monza, 2011
Karun Chandhok, Lotus, Monza, 2011

F1 could have two Indian drivers on the grid for next month’s inaugural Indian Grand Prix.

Karun Chandhok and Narain Karthikeyan are tipped to make one-off appearances at Lotus and HRT.

But should F1 teams drop their regular drivers to make way for sponsor-friendly local talent?


Just a few weeks ago we were discussing how F1 had failed to create local interest in Turkey, whose Grand Prix disappeared from the calendar after just seven years.

Promoting local drivers in this way can only be good for F1’s profile in an important new market.

It’s also good to see teams giving other drivers a chance to make names for themselves in Formula 1.


The Indian government has refusing to allow the teams to avoid customs duties, as is the practice at other races. This could jeopardise the running of the race.

The government has done so claiming F1 is ‘entertainment’ rather than ‘sport’. This is a transparent attempt to make more money from the race. As written here earlier, claiming F1 is not sport is ignorant nonsense.

But that fact is undermined when drivers who are supposed to be racing on merit are shown to be interchangeable with those bringing more funds or attention.

I say

In one sense, I’m rather ambivalent about this debate – it’s up to the teams to decide who they put in their cars.

But I do think it asks some interesting questions about how far F1 should go the court popularity in new venues, and whether the sport is diminished by having its regular competitors replaced by others who are more appealing to local audiences.

The shortage of opportunities for new drivers to gain testing mileage makes it hard to fault teams trying to promote emerging talent. But that description does not fit a driver who made his F1 debut six years ago.

You say

Should Karun Chandhok and Narain Karthikeyan race in India?

  • Chandhok and Karthikeyan should get to race (34%)
  • Just Chandhok should get to race (28%)
  • Just Karthikeyan should get to race (2%)
  • Neither driver should get to race (24%)
  • No opinion on which driver should get to race (12%)

Total Voters: 289

Loading ... Loading ...

An F1 Fanatic account is required in order to vote. If you do not have one, register an account here or read more about registering here.

Debates and polls

Browse all debates and polls

Image ?é?® Team Lotus

143 comments on “Should Chandhok and Karthikeyan race in India?”

Jump to comment page: 1 2 3 4
  1. Voted both, Dont really mind as it wont affect me much. I would prefer Karthikeyan gets in though so Riciardo doesnt.

    1. so Riciardo doesnt.

      Why so vindictive towards Ricciardo? He’s clearly more deserving of a race seat than Karthikeyan.

      1. How is he more deserving? I just dont like Ricciardo so I would prefer not having him on my TV screen.

        1. But that has nothing to do with whether he’s deserving of a race seat on pace and ability, and his tests in an STR and the RB6 seem to point to having both – If you don’t like Vettel, would that mean he doesn’t deserve his Red Bull car? No, it shouldn’t, even though it would have made the WDC this year possibly more interesting.

          1. I didnt say that was why he wasnt more deserving. I said thats why I didnt want him to race, and I asked a question about how he was more deserving. Two completely different things…

        2. How is he more deserving?

          Have you had your hands over your eyes? British F3 champion, WSR runner-up last year, he’s already out-qualified Liuzzi which is more than Karthikeyan managed. How can you seriously think Karthikeyan is a better prospect?

          1. Once again, I have READ results, Not SEEN anything, Results can only tell you so much. Look at Maldanado in GP2 last year, I have read multiple reports saying he only got it because no one else was left, and now he is doing nothing in F1, Unless you count driving into people on purpose…

          2. I have READ results, Not SEEN anything

            So you weren’t watching qualifying at Monza, then?

            Still no idea why you think Karthikeyan is better.

          3. No one could seriously say that Karthikeyan has better prospects in terms of performance. But I suspect fordsrule just doesn’t like him, like I don’t like Montoya, Raikkonen or Maldonado… I don’t think he is necessarily commenting on performance.

          4. Fordsrule (well they did over 100 years back :-P), the fact you have not been watching, doesn’t mean its not there.

            Ricciardo certainly does make an impression, being constanctly close to Liuzzi in performance from the go and having beaten him in qualifying as well.

            Maldonado is not setting the world alight as a future F1 champion, but he does a very solid job beating Barricello in qualifying. Some of his lack of results is to do with circumstances out of his control (Car failures).

          5. Like it or not if Ricciardo was that great RedBull should have chopped of Alguersueri/Buemi or played musical chairs at STR (which is still their team B, since its not yet sold), but as it turns out Ricciardo is just another pay driver who has not exactly set the junior formulae on fire to stake claim on F1 seat.

          6. Oh, he finally outqualified Liuzzi with an 1 tenth advantage! What an achievement! :) Is that really everything what was Dr. Marko and media expecting from him? I don t think so…

          7. The guy’s five races into his F1 career. Expecting much more from him at this stage, given how little mileage he had in the car prior to Silverstone, is not realistic.

            And he wasn’t the one heading to the first corner backwards on the grass, was he?

          8. I’m pretty sure any new driver 5 races into his career in an awful car would perform the same if not worse. And I’m also pretty sure the Toro Rosso drivers actually have proper contracts for this year, which is why Ricciardo hasn’t replaced them, not because of a lack of faith. I don’t believe they’re putting him in HRT to assess his performance, they’re doing it to prepare him for his first full season with Toro Rosso. And the reason he is more deserving is that he has performed very well in lower formulae, and that is often an indication of future performance. Karthikeyan on the other hand has been distinctly average to poor in every series since the late 90’s, including F1.

          9. I agree, which is why it’s preposterous to suggest Karthikeyan deserves the drive more than Ricciardo.

          10. may be he is form india.

        3. We’re not comparing Ricciardo to a good driver. It’s Narain karthikeyan. Ricciardo has done a lot better against Liuzzi than Karthikeyan.

          1. I am for chandok & no for Karthikayen. We should understand that chandok is kind of third driver for Lotus, so in a way he is not like picked from some where in F3000 or with loads of sponsorship etc. It’s true he did terrible job at germany but probably that guy deserves second chance.
            Reg Karthikayen i still wonder how he got his drive back in to F1. More confounding is how come TATA came forward to sponsor HRT & him. I don’t see any value being added to TATA (also owners of Jaguar). They used to sponsor Ferrari (TATA software company which develops software for Ferrari) with a very small presence at some where in back. I think that’s more worth than putting their name on HRT.

            Anyway if F1 is fully on merit basis, Hulkenberg could have been driving in 11, chandok, senna & yomamoto wouldn’t have got drives in 10, maladano & perez may not be driving in 11…..

            Moreover when teams were selected based on their financial credentials (new teams), why not they go for financial consideration in selecting drivers for specific races. Even they need some money to move up the ladder.

        4. Well for a start Karthikeyan’s had a chance in the past to prove himself. And he never qualified above Liuzzi as far as I can recall.

      2. Yes, please explain that to me. Why would you rather see an old man, well past his prime. Not that his prime was much to talk about in the first place. Driving instead of an up and coming rookie driver,with seeming loads of potential?

        1. How does Ricciardo have “seeming loads of potential”? Just because he is back by RedBull doesnt mean he does. I have not seen anything to say he does, I have read results, but not seen anything from him.

          1. See my post above. You might even ignore his results, but he only needed a few races to out-qualify Liuzzi, which shows he has some speed at least. He might be able to do more. While Red Bull’s young driver program hasn’t proven to be faultless, they do pick up fast guys. Even if most aren’t able to show much added value when in F1, they at least deserved a change, as you don’t really know that before you try.

            Karthikeyan has had time to prove his potential, and there is some, but not much, not enough for a full season seat.

          2. I think Ricciardo is becoming one of the best rookies of the year. He has done more feats in that car to make me notice an HRT in the field – well until Luizzi’s glory run at Italy.

          3. Hey fordsrule.

            I am guessing you don’t have a Holden, and I am guessing you have an opinion on Ricciardo. You don’t have to justify it without stats, or have people change your mind because of stats. A part of what makes F1 fun to watch is rivalry – and having teams and drivers you like, and those you don’t.

            Good on you for taking the time to be honest about your opinion and sticking to it.

          4. Ricciardo is only second to hulkenburg in terms of rookies with results in lower categories. He has earned his place for sure.

          5. JustAnF1Fanatic
            14th September 2011, 13:03

            maybe fordsrule is Karthikeyan using an alias?

          6. Judging from comments over the last 2 months I’d take him as serious as out Bahrainy friend from a few weeks back.

          7. As mentioned previously, what we have above is either the brother of one of Ricciardo’s ex-girlfriends, or a perfect example of the Australian tall poppy syndrome in action.

          8. Generally if you look at the results so far in his career you can see his potential. Add to this his efforts in the RB6 – with limited mileage remember – he was fast, not only for a rookie but fast overall. He is probably the best talent from red bull driver development since Vettel. Karthikeyan simply put is rubbish. The only reason he has ever driven anything is because of money. The new alex Yoong.

        2. @Bobtheblob – Just not sure if you mean that as a dig at Liuzzi, Trulli or Karthikeyan really :-)

  2. As much as I like Chandhok – he’s a very genuine guy, and a great commentator on R5L – I don’t think he or Kathikeyan should be racing in India, simply for the fact that drivers shouldn’t be put in the car just because it’s their home race. It sets a dangerous precedent.

    Should HRT find a young Korean racing in F3000 with a wealthy background who they could put in the car for the Korean race?

    1. I don’t think it’s a precedent to give a driver a job because of their nationality!!!!!!

  3. An Indian driver at the Indian Grand Prix is a wonderful idea. But at least respect the Indians enough to give them a driver who can properly represent them. As popular as he might be among the teams and the fans, Karun Chandhok simply in’t fast enough for Formula 1. And I don’t think Narain Karthikeyan is a particuarly good example of someone to represent them.

    But, as I’ve been saying since the idea of Chandhok racing in India first broke – which was probably the moment he joined Team Fernandes – I think it sets a poor precedent, where drivers are chosen on the basis of their nationality rather than talent. I know drivers get picked all the time because of their ability to deliver sponsors, but I can live with that because I know that a lot of drivers bring sponsors, and because they need to have a certain degree of skill to get into Formula 1 regardless of how much mone they can throw about. But picking drivers for one race on the basis of their nationality dilutes the talent pool.

    1. When there are a lot of very talented drivers, more than there are seats, as is clearly the case right now in F1, I can understand that those with the best sponsor package are chosen. Especially so as F1 costs a lot of money to do well, so it will in turn help the team’s progress in the sport too. I don’t always like the results, but it is, as you say, quite understandable.

      But then replacing drivers for individual races is hard to understand as helping the sporting results. It is a sponsor event in a sports match, and thus doesn’t really belong there.

      In a way, the Le Mans the non-pro teams being in a separate GT class is a better way to go: Enthusiasts can try, with their own funding, to see how far they can get, and show their speed and – if they are really good, they might get far, and even become professional racers.

      Hm, I guess that if Chandok and Karthikeyan would start their own team, I would wonder about their success, but I would wish them well, but that isn’t really something that can be done in F1 anymore.

    2. And I don’t think Narain Karthikeyan is a particuarly good example of someone to represent them.
      >> Maybe you are thinking something on these lines – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vX0a_LyCM6c

      1. No, that’s not what I mean at all.

        When you talk about India and Formula 1, what is the first thing that comes to mind? It’s not Narain Karthikeyan. Putting him in the car for the Indian Grand Prix would be a bit like putting Sakon Yamamoto in a car to promote the Japanese Grand Prix. Sure, he’s a Japanese driver for a Japanese race – but is he really the best Japan has to offer? In the same way, Narain Karthikeyan is not representative of India. One suspects the only reason why he joined Jordan in the first palce was because Bernie wanted an Indian driver. Likewise, I very much doubt Karthikeyan would have been driving for Hispania at all this season were it not for the inclusion of the Indian Grand Prix on the calendar.

        I just think the Indian fans deserve something more than Narain Karthikeyan being held up as the representative of India.

        1. I would respectfully disagree on this particular point. Being from india, majority of indians would say Karthikeyan is the first thing that comes to the mind if you tell F1. I don’t claim he is a great driver or anything like that but being the first driver from India in F1 does get you respect and deservedly so.

          1. Just checked 2005 season. Karthikeyan had almost similar results to his teammate. So not sure why he is considered very slow here. I would totally disregard his 2011 season where he has been totally outpaced by Luizzi as by that logic rosberg is miles better than schumi in 2010.

            But anyways am voting that neither should race in India :) – Chandhok doesn’t hold a candle to Trulli and i haven’t seen enough of Riccardio to comment about HRT.

          2. Yeah, its like talking about Tomas Enge in the Czech Republic.

            Who cares he is better known for having a championship taken from him for smoking a joint than for memorable driving.
            He was the first Czech driver in F1 and that gets noted.
            And Kartikeyan surely had some suprisingly spectacular drives at Jordan.

    3. I think neither should drive.
      Karthikeyan was HRT’s driver, and was dropped mid-season, so he can have some rights in returning, but Chandhok doesn’t as he substituted for Trulli when he had no power-steering, and performed badly. Now Trulli’s up to pace, Chandhok isn’t the better option.

  4. I think they should get to race. Karthikeyan is a shining example to all of India’s youth that if they really want it hard enough, they too can achieve anything their heart desires… as long as they have the money and the sponsorship.

    Chandhok is another a further example to India’s youth that being talented and skilled isn’t everything in life, but that being a decent person with a likeable personality is also important too… and bringing a load of sponsorship $$$ with you doesn’t hurt either.

    1. Haha I love your sarcasm maggie!

    2. LOL

      Well, as others have said, they at least aren’t a danger to the rest of the drivers. In fact both are decent drivers, but don’t seem to really be able to make light up the timing screens.

      Pay drivers (as these two are) are currently not horrible drivers that bought the seat. Rather, they are talented drivers, who just aren’t talented enough that you’d take them over other candidates. But they bring enough money that you’d take them over great talent without.

      But from a sporting perspective, I don’t like to think how Ricciardo, who is a clear talent, and Kovalainen (Trulli already did his swap), who is a talented racer that can take the Lotus to it’s current max, lose out for this race, only because it is a new race in a new country, and these guys buy their seat for money over the year.

      I do hope it does help create interest in India, because, or it would also have been largely pointless for the sport.

    3. LOL MAG!

      Yup. Still, I voted with having No opinion, as I really do think its undecided.

      I do not mind them being there, they did what was needed to get there, so great for them. And it really is a nice touch these teams are able to provide them the chance.

      But the fact they would not be there if not for hoards of money and special interests does get into conflict with the sporting side of things (not just for these two, its for all drivers maybe save a handfull of them).

  5. F1 must distinguish between the marketing needs, which can’t be ignored of course, and the need to maintain respect as the pinnacle of motor racing, including driver talent.
    Whilst I don’t wish to denigrate either of the two drivers, I don’t think they’ve proved good enough to get on the grid on pure merit. It wouldn’t be a good precedent either, would it? Practice – OK. But not the race.

  6. The i1SuperSeries is an India-based racing series taking place in the winter. Nine teams, each of two drivers, one of which is Indian, the other of whom is ‘foreign’. There will be seven races in Asian cities, including two in India.
    So you can’t say that F1 is India’s only opportunity to see Indians racing at their track. And with big cricket stars such as Sachin Tendulkar getting involved in i1ss with team ownership (he of course is a big F1 fan himself), India has plenty to see. There are only about nine Indian racing drivers, so it’s not like missing out in F1 will mean missing out on driving at the track.
    Interestingly, some of the foreign names linked to the series include the teammates of Karthikeyan and Chandhok (but not Ricciardo), as well as several former F1 drivers.
    It’s not critical for these guys to drive in the Indian GP. And they will be at the back of the grid where it is incredibly difficult to make an impression. All in all, it seems like a waste of time to me.

  7. As a one off for this years race I have no problem with it. It’s bound to draw more interest in the country.

    I hope it doesn’t set a precedent though. As nice as they are, Karthikeyan and Chandhok don’t really have what it takes for F1 but fortunately they’re not a danger to other competitors and at least have some experience. If it leads to the situation where cash strapped teams bring in inexperienced drivers based on nationality for certain Grands Prix however, then that’s a potentially slippery slope.

    Someone said this in the comments t’other day, but I also respect Vijay Mallya’s position of not putting an Indian driver in his car until one of suitable talent comes along.

    1. but I also respect Vijay Mallya’s position of not putting an Indian driver in his car until one of suitable talent comes along.
      >> Mallya is just using F1 cars to show case his alcohol products, advertising alcohol/Tobacco products in banned in India, so Mallya has found a good way to show his wares on without coming under radar of vigilence.

      And its the same reason, why he doesn’t want the Indian Driver who has geniune backing of mainstream Indian Business Houses and has sponsorships that are more relevant to motorsports – Motor companies, Automotive parts, Fuel etc;

      If Mallya had hired Narain (who was then just out of F1) back in 2007, Mallya would have to share the limelight with mainstream Indian businesses something that the Egotist didn’t wanted to do. So he stuck with drivers who took more than a year to take his car to Q2 and their best results till 2010 were just one fluke podium and one running 4th in wet weather race.

      Looking at Narain’s capability when he was knocking on doors of F1 in 2004, if Narain was given the same opportunity that Mallya gave to Sutil and Fisichella, FIF1 results would still have been same and Narain and Karun would have grown with the Indian team.

      Mallya doesn’t want to advertise anything but his own products so he has made his own choices….. Nothing related to motorsports and talents in Mallya’s decision..

      1. Getting into Q2 only took 12 races (the first time Force India managed it after Vijay took over was Monza 2008, following several occasions where one driver or the other got close) despite the team being very short of money at critical parts of its development path (previous owners Spyker brought masses of enthusiasm but had money troubles and couldn’t fund the team very well). The 4th-place race (Monza 2009) was completely dry (perhaps you are confusing it with Monza 2008, where both qualifying and the race were very wet).

        Narain is not as bad a driver as he is sometimes painted, but this does not necessarily mean he was the right man for the job. Adrian Sutil was under contract at the time and the team really needed someone with experience at helping to build up a team to make progress. Narain had never had the opportunity to develop or demonstrate the necessary skills. Without them, the Force India team’s path would have been reminiscent of Lotus’ – respectable for a team with its financing (though due to the money, 8th-9th rather than Lotus’ 10th) but not the spectacular over-performance it’s managing. Speed alone would not have been enough.

        Some “pay drivers” were tested in the shoot-out, but that was primarily for the position of test driver (also vacant at the time). There was no way that a test seat at Force India would have been considered superior to a test seat at Williams (which Narain had at that time). Therefore there was no point in him being invited to the shootout. Since then, it’s turned out that the test driver at Force India’s always been the one to get the race seats as they’ve fallen vacant, so no realistic opportunity for Narain since.

        As to the lack of other Indian companies on the Force India, there’s been a massive reduction in costs in F1 since Vijay arrived. Force India has deliberately kept to the strictest version of RRA so that it doesn’t need to do the layoffs and spending cuts that the bigger teams are having to do to get to the eventual RRA level. Perhaps the other companies are no longer needed to subsidise the outfit, in which case Vijay is entitled to do a Red Bull and put promoting his own vision (and companies) above anyone else’s.

        1. You again make my point, Narain qualified a car with zero development (essentially 2004 spec car) outside top 10 twice in 2005. Something that took more than a season for FIF1 car with VJM throwing monies for development.

          If Narain and his managers had enough PR skills and readiness to suck up to the British/English Media, those performances could have kept him in talk. Just like Hulkenberg who was whooped by Barrichello, but yet his only stake to legitimate F1 drive is that pole lap which was mainly because of he was the only car on the track that was at the right place at right time in terms of track conditions and operating window.

          But Press keeps harping that freak lap over and over to justify why Nico should get race seat.

          Regarding VJM, having had to do business with lots of his operations, I can say with enough information, that he is in F1/Airline business to hammer the “KingFisher” logo on the the Yuppie Indians who can buy his alcoholic beverages. All his sports investments are for Liquor promotion and he doesn’t want to share that spot with mainstream and diverse Indian Business houses from Automotive, Banking, Insurance Sectors, who are still backing the Indian drivers….

          1. In what sense have I made your point? The 2008 car was the 2007 car with a few changes for compliance, which was itself the 2006 car with a few changes to correct the most basic errors Mike Gascoyne found when he arrived at Silverstone. It was typically further off the pace than the 2005 car (except at Monaco, where the EJ15 was particularly terrible and the VJM01 particularly… …less so). The 2006 car is the only major upgrade between the car Narain drove and the VJM02 in 2009. The development money in 2008 was almost exclusively thrown at the VJM02, just as the majority of the development money in 2005 was thrown at what eventually became the M01. I am not saying Narain is bad, I am saying he was the wrong driver for Force India in 2008.

            (For the record, I believe Narain was the right driver for Jordan in 2005, and would probably have been a better choice than Nakajima in the Williams in 2007-2009, which would have put him in a better car than the VJM01 in 2008 anyway. Sadly Williams needed an engine…)

            Narain could not have kept his seat at Jordan on performance alone because the team needed money to survive and Christijan Albers had more (to the tune of several million dollars, if the rumours are to be believed). Remember Jordan/Midland nearly went down trying to survive on the trickle of money from Russia before Spyker came along. No amount of sweet-talking or success would have got him out of that one.

            Nico Hulkenburg is another matter entirely – he’d probably make a good choice if there was a vacancy at Force India, but some of his FP1s this year show he is not the completed article. That part of your scepticism I can understand.

            Vijay may not want to share his car’s space with other sponsors, but given how much lower costs are than what he would reasonably have expected when he entered, why would he?

  8. Aboslutely not! It’ll turn F1 into an episode of the Simpsons – having guest stars appearing when the ratings are low..
    Thinking about it, isnt Bernie E the spit of Moe Syzlak..

    1. Moe? I’d say Montgomery Burns :)

      1. good call

        1. Bernie’s as ruthless, too. :P

          That said, I’m more neutral-wouldn’t mind on Chandok and Karthikeyan racing at home. Mainly because it’s their home Grand Prix, which admittedly, isn’t a good enough reason :P

  9. The teams need to decide what’s in the best interests of the team, and that is not putting in a second rate driver for there more established ones just because he has the right nationality.

    If India is a ‘normal’ race with no chance in hell for the ‘new’ teams to grab points, you’d think sure, why not?

    But what if India is some crazy race where half the grid gets decimated and the backmarkers have a chance to pick up say 12th place, earning them that all important 10th place in the constructors?

    Would you want Chandhok in Trulli’s place, and Narain in Ricciardo’s place then? I wouldn’t. Too much is at stake. The possible money earned from 10th in the constructors is worth more than some extra media exposure in India.

    1. Maybe that’s why Virgin don’t have an Indian of their own there?

  10. I’d rather see them earn a race seat on merit, not just because it’s the inaugural Indian grand prix.. So a yes and a no for me :)

  11. Initially I thought let them race, seems like a nice idea, no brainer.

    Then I read a few of the arguments noted above against it. Does seem tough to the incumbent drivers and bad precedent etc.

    I also thought that maybe it seems just a little condescending to the Indians.

  12. I am for running local drivers in an one-off race.

    Like you correctly mentioned, F1 needs local talent to sustain interest. F1 did that mistake in Turkey. And has already done that in China. The approach needs to be different in India.

    Also, Bruno Senna has shown at Renault that one full season at the back of the field is not a true judge of a driver’s potential. So, even if Riccardio or Trulli miss one race, it is not going to do them much harm.

    Let the two race!

  13. Were HRT or Team Lotus in a position to score points then i’d consider this question in more depth. As they are not, F1 is simply a PR exercise for them at the moment. Putting the Indian drivers in the Indian grand prix is PR gold. Therefore, it’s the right decision.

  14. I voted no opinion because I believe it’s up to the teams who to put in their cars.

    For the same reason, I’m not too worried about the precedent it would set: if the teams think they can get enough exposure to offset the expected loss in performance, then I can understand why they would want to run them.

    Ultimately, getting a place on the F1 grid is not about being worthier than other drivers, but about putting a deal together (as long as you qualify for a super license, and unfortunately I feel Chandok is borderline in that respect).

  15. As they both have recent F1 experience then I am not too worried in this case.
    But I do think that the FIA should state what the minimum standards are.

    1. But I do think that the FIA should state what the minimum standards are.
      >> FIA minimum standards are possession of FIA super license. Which both the drivers have thanks to their experience in racing categories mandated by FIA.

      This blog site is unnecessarily stirring pot on a non-issue and just providing biased fans to vent out the vitriol out of their system.

      1. What rubbish. The responses so far have shown a broad range of well-considered views on the subject and the voting is anything but one-sided.

        1. Ask the man in the mirror :)

  16. It’ll be a nice novelty for the fans, just hope it won’t be a habit.

  17. But that fact is undermined when drivers who are supposed to be racing on merit are shown to be interchangeable with those bringing more funds or attention.

    While I agree that there are better choices for drivers than Chandhok and Karthikeyan, I think both did a decent job with the equipment they had. You can’t have a grid full of Vettels, Hamiltons and Alonsos anyway. And if putting them in the car brings in extra money and publicity for both their respective teams and the Grand Prix in India, I don’t mind if the teams do so.

  18. i am an Indian…i can say one thing for sure, for F1 to be popular in India, local representation is required…Period!…..during the Commonwealth Games, the events without Indian participation had no spectators, literally!! If u ask ‘what does f1 stand to earn from India?’, just look at cricket…..India’s 3 World cup victories have made the intl cricket council one of the most richest sporting federations!

    1. So, that’s a valid point, if a bit sad. There clearly should be a way F1 can do better to get new people in. But I still doubt this is the way to do it.

      I will concede that in this instance, as a one off to celebrate a race in a new country, for teams that don’t have much change of getting points, and aren’t likely to have this one race decide the 10th WCC spot, I can live with it.

      But I think there have to be ways to do better in the future.

    2. That is sad, really. You should go to see and F1 event if you’re a fan of F1, of the sport, because F1 is a sport where everyone plays at once.

      It’s like how I bet the grandstands of Monza would be empty if Ferrari weren’t in the sport. So much for a love of motor racing and of F1… they’re just there to see a red car. You can see a red car anywhere, to be honest.

      If the people of india don’t want to turn out to watch F1 if there isn’t an indian driver or team (Force India are British, after all), then F1 shouldn’t be racing there. Just like they’ve finally realised with Turkey.

      1. To be fair, once there, and while they appreciate a Ferrari on the podium more than any other car, the Tifosi at Monza cheer for good moves by others (especially if not on a Ferrari, true).

      2. I agree with the OP. Indian people will show up way more if their countrymen are represented. You have to realize, personal car ownership in India is a relatively new thing. They do not have the long US or EU heratige of “car culture”.

        Agreed, and Indian driver will not affect the hard-core Indian F1 fan, but thats not the point. The point is to INCREASE VIEWERSHIP of F1 in this new market. For this goal, KC and NK make complete sense.

        That said, its still a bit distastful to have such a blatent consession for commercial interests. Just another gross reminder that, to the FOM, fans, racers, cars are only a medium for gaining profits.

  19. More Indian more opinions, so let me add mine.
    I don’t think, presence of any of them will act as a crowd puller, in fact, I will go to that extent in stating that even presence of Force India won’t do better (I am a hardcore FI fan).
    Lots of facts to support that:
    – People here are much obsessed with likes of Hamilton, Alonso, Shumacher. Only handful of people knows Sutil and DiResta
    – Although cricket is touching its saturation point, Tennis and Football (espcially EPL) still way ahead in popularity than F1
    – Many sports enthustiast are bugged by the fact that what’s fun in watching a car zooming past you for a fraction a second.
    Indian GP will defintely boost F1 in India but it has nothing to do with Karun, Narain and even FI.

    Crazy Force India and f1 fan

    1. Only handful of people knows Sutil and DiResta

      They all know who Sutil and DiResta is.

      Only handful of people might support Sutil and DiResta though they are obsessed with Hamilton, Alonso, Shumacher.

  20. If the Indian Goverment cannot call F1 a sport but whant to make money out of F1 Then F1 should Charge the Indian Goverment or Pull Out

    1. Only party that makes money out of F1 is Bernie/Commercial rights holders.

      The tracks that run in losses by running F1 races per Bernie’s demands and eventually go their governments for bailout (using tax payers monies) are a good proof of that.

      If Government of India is not making any exceptions to F1 circus when it comes to taxes, customs and tariffs good for them, more and more Governments should take a leaf out of India’s book IMO

Jump to comment page: 1 2 3 4

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.