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 Post subject: Picking Karun's brains
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:11 pm 
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I had the chance to meet Karun Chandhok in Brazil and spend a few minutes discussing his thoughts on the season. I asked him many questions (most of which are erm 'discussed' on the forum) and he was very warm and patient in answering most questions directly without trying to be diplomatic. I didnt get the chance to sit down and write this until now (thanks to year end shut down in my company)

So, first of all, thanks Karun if you are reading this.

I remember most of what we discussed but don't remember his exact words.Here are his thoughts on some of the topics.

1. Fastest car: Karun said McLaren was definitely the fastest car this season and said it should have been their titles to lose. He pointed out that even after the Singapore upgrade, they needed a Hamilton gearbox failure to win the race.

2. Newey: Karun agreed he is the best designer in F1 but says it would be wrong to attribute Red Bull's success to only Adrian's brilliance. He thinks Vettel + Horner + Newey + the Pit Crew are a better combination than anyone on the grid. He mentioned that at most races, Red Bull were the last team to leave the paddock and were always seen working on the car, even when they had a significant advantage. (he mentioned the Indian GP).. I asked him why no one never credited the designer of Mclaren's car this year..he simply smiled

3. Paydrivers: We talked abt this the longest. He says sponsorship is an important part of F1, whatever the talent of the driver. For example, he says Pastor is not in F1 just for his sponsorships, he has won a race and qualified well.. He pointed out that even Alonso is backed by Santander, doesnt mean he is a paydriver..he agonised that he was very close to Force India in 2011..but he is down to earth and admits that he has to improve quite a lot to secure an F1 driving seat..he said he may consider being a reserve driver next year, if the chance came up

4. Best driver: He thinks the top 3 or 4 are very close but he said Alonso did the best job this year

5. Best venue: He says Abu Dhabi is by far the best facility. He says most other venues are of a nearly the same standard including India. His favorite gp is still Monaco.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:25 pm 
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How could you forget the most important question..Button or Hamilton?
On a seperate note , did you ask the reason why he lost out on Force India drive? Money or Mallya?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:31 pm 
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sandyf1 wrote:
How could you forget the most important question..Button or Hamilton?
On a seperate note , did you ask the reason why he lost out on Force India drive? Money or Mallya?


haha..he said Hamilton and Vettel are the best qualifiers, so you have your answer partly...

The drive with force india..I didnt press him more than that..I barely knew him and didnt want to ask something that was maybe more personal..


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:42 pm 
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Wow thanks man I've always wanted to hear from an f1 driver minus the pr crap. I hope you would have asked him more questions though : ).


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:43 pm 
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Thanks for this! I always liked Karun, enjoyed his commentry on the BBC F1 practice sessions and always hoped he would get a decent chance in F1, though I think even he believes he's not good enough to run with the likes of Alonso and co. Be nice to see him doing commentry again though!


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:44 pm 
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stendec wrote:
sandyf1 wrote:
How could you forget the most important question..Button or Hamilton?
On a seperate note , did you ask the reason why he lost out on Force India drive? Money or Mallya?


haha..he said Hamilton and Vettel are the best qualifiers, so you have your answer partly...

The drive with force india..I didnt press him more than that..I barely knew him and didnt want to ask something that was maybe more personal..

I asked you because chandok's co -commentator here in asia went on an interesting rant about mallya in one of the practise sessions during brazilian gp. Basically, he told Mallya's ego was the sole reason an indian was not in a force india seat and that it would take all the attention from him.Chandok was silent after that rant so i was wondering if he actually told you the reason for not getting a force india seat.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:45 pm 
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Karun is the man!

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:49 pm 
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sandyf1 wrote:
stendec wrote:
sandyf1 wrote:
How could you forget the most important question..Button or Hamilton?
On a seperate note , did you ask the reason why he lost out on Force India drive? Money or Mallya?


haha..he said Hamilton and Vettel are the best qualifiers, so you have your answer partly...

The drive with force india..I didnt press him more than that..I barely knew him and didnt want to ask something that was maybe more personal..

I asked you because chandok's co -commentator here in asia went on an interesting rant about mallya in one of the practise sessions during brazilian gp. Basically, he told Mallya's ego was the sole reason an indian was not in a force india seat and that it would take all the attention from him.Chandok was silent after that rant so i was wondering if he actually told you the reason for not getting a force india seat.


Mallya has said previously that he doesn't feel obliged in any way to put an Indian driver into Force India and will only do so when he feels there is such a driver with the ability to perform at a Formula One standard. As Karun said, or is supposed to have said, he doesn't believe that he has been up to F1 standard (and big props to him if he did admit it - it's a very mature thing to say). There doesn't need to be politics or egotistical team managers in the loop - one wants drivers that can perform to a high standard and the other admits he doesn't think he is currently able to perform at that level.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:13 pm 
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Cool. How did u come to meet him and get to chat with him ?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:25 pm 
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I like Karun, he seems very genuine and approachable, its good to see him around the paddock for interviews etc.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:37 pm 
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A2jdl wrote:
Cool. How did u come to meet him and get to chat with him ?


I was a corporate visitor for an f1 team..my company is also a corporate 'partner' to Karun...stayed in same hotel..we are both Indian etc..


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:39 pm 
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He said the exact same things on The Flying Lap.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:41 pm 
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jammin78 wrote:
I like Karun, he seems very genuine and approachable, its good to see him around the paddock for interviews etc.


he was very warm and I was pleasantly surprised..In 2005, I had a chance to visit the Renault team at Indianapolis for the infamous grand prix..I was part of a corporate visitor group... Renault let us take pics and shake hands on Friday etc but didnt rate/treat us as fans..we couldnt get near the drivers to speak to them but they gave me Fisi's steering wheel to pose with


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:09 pm 
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I like this guy too. He commentates on the ESPN/Star Sports F1 coverage and I observed that he's very fair and unbiased. His co-commentator Steve Slater always gets things mixed up and can't tell the difference between a Williams and a Sauber. Thank god Karun is there to set things straight.

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