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Jul 22, 2014 - 05:31 PM
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Catching up With Karun Chandhok
Posted by: newsla on Jul 22, 2014 - 05:29 PM
Support Series News
Catching up With Karun Chandhok

As the first ever season of the FIA Formula E Championship fast approaches Mahindra Racing have been busy testing at the home of the championship, Donington Park Circuit, UK. Mahindra Racing’s Karun Chandhok has clocked up many miles in his Formula E car in preparation for the season – we caught up with him at a recent test to see how the car is compared to his expectations and what his hopes and aspirations are for the upcoming season.…


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As an Indian driving for an Indian racing team, what has the reaction been from fans?

It’s been very positive all round. Mahindra are still less well known in Europe and the US but in India it’s an enormous household name so to have that behind you lends a big amount of credibility to our campaign. The launch over in India was a big event for us as well and everybody there was very excited and also very positive about the upcoming season. Of course there’s a lot of pressure that goes along with that but it’s nothing I haven’t experienced before or less so than the pressure I put on myself.

What is it about the championship that you think is drawing in so many talented drivers?

I think because it’s different to any other championships out there at the moment and in many ways success breeds success. There were a few big names on board at the start and then rumours were thrown around with other names and then all of a sudden the championship finds itself with an influx of strong drivers. I think the grid is definitely one of the strongest grids outside of Formula 1.

You’ve had two pre-season tests, how have you found the car?

It’s very interesting to drive and I think the sound is probably the biggest thing that you have to get used to. In qualifying mode when the power is turned up the motor is pretty powerful and actually the car is good fun to drive. It’s balanced well and although it’s a little more tricky with the re-generation stuff it’s just something else to learn and get used to.
To be honest I think it’s been pretty much how I expected it to be.

How crucial do you think the championship will be in defining technology in the future – be that in motorsport or road cars?

I think that it will be very important. Mahindra are an electric car company and the technology and knowledge they have is incredible. We’re constantly relaying information back and forth between the team and Mahindra Reva so that’s very positive and I think it will certainly benefit both parties in the future. This is what this championship is all about and to see it happening already is great for us.

Which circuit are you most looking forward to driving and why?

I’m going to say London however the whole calendar looks amazing. I’ve lived in the UK for 12 years and the circuit will be in walking distance from my home in the city. I’ll be able to stay at my place in the evening and walk to the track each morning as well.

You’ve worked with Bruno in the past, does this help when you’re faced with a new car and championship?

I know that we both work well together because we have that level of trust and understanding but there’s also that sense of maturity between us. I think that stems from both of us doing sports cars as well because you are forced to work with your team mate instead of against them all the time, so you learn a lot from that. In this first year it will certainly be important to communicate with each other about the car. It’s new and early and we’re working on a variety of different things and putting it all together ahead of the first race.

You took the car to Westminster Bridge and had a little bit of fun, tell us about that.

Well everyone was driving quite slowly and very reserved up and down and I really wanted to do something different and have a little bit of hooligan time! Everyone was happy to oblige so I had a bit of fun – it was good to get the car spinning and the tyres smoking.

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