CHANDHOK BASKS IN MONACO PODIUM GLORY MONACO, Monte Carlo: India's Karun Chandhok scored his first podium finish of the 2008 GP2 Series at Monaco on Friday, finishing third in the biggest race of the season around Monte Carlo's...
CHANDHOK BASKS IN MONACO PODIUM GLORY
MONACO, Monte Carlo: India's Karun Chandhok scored his first podium finish of the 2008 GP2 Series at Monaco on Friday, finishing third in the biggest race of the season around Monte Carlo's fabled streets.
The 24-year-old from Chennai, who is backed by Red Bull, JK Tyre, Amaron and ICSA Logistics, described receiving his trophy on the steps of the famous Automobile Club de Monaco as the best feeling I've ever had in racing.
Karun rose from sixth on the grid to grab the final place on the podium. He jumped ahead of series leader Giorgio Pantano off the start line and ran in fifth position for the first portion of the race.
He then gained a place from Adrian Valles in the mandatory pitstops, but lost one to Romain Grosjean, who had been directly behind him on the track. He would take the position back, however, when Grosjean drove into the spun Pantano at Mirabeau, while Karun followed the marshals' instructions past the stricken car.
Now running fourth, Chandhok was chasing Mike Conway for the final position on the podium. With the gap coming down at over a second a lap, there was a lapped car between them, but instead of getting in Karun's way, the back marker Javier Villa collided with Conway at the chicane sending the Englishman wide and allowing Karun through,
Karun was able to negotiate his way past their collision and score a glorious third position, making it an iSport one-three, as his team-mate Bruno Senna won the race.
"To on the podium in Monaco is the best place in the world", said Chandhok. "This track isn't physically difficult, but it's mentally challenging, so to finish in the top three, you really deserve it. It's a great relief after a difficult second race in Istanbul, and I'm delighted for the team to get both its cars on the podium. It's amazing to have the Indian tri- colour up above the Royal Box here in Monaco."
"I really had a bad run with the traffic in qualifying and the first half of my race was compromised by where I qualified. I was stuck behind Valles, but once I was in clear air my pace was good and I was able to close on those ahead. I had a good chuckle about what happened to both Grosjean and Conway. With Grosjean, the marshals waved at us to go right, and he went left and drove into Pantano's car!"
"With Conway, I spoke to Villa and he said he was just caught out by how early Mike braked. He might have been a lap down, but Villa was quicker than him and was on his tail for three laps. I was catching them both by 1.5secs a lap, so I think the pressure I was putting on him was a factor"
Chandhok doesn't have long to wait for his next race: the Monaco sprint event takes place at 16.00 local time tomorrow (Saturday).
-credit: karun chandhok