HEARTBREAK FOR CHANDHOK AT MONACO Transmission failure robs him of dominant win Chennai, India, May 24, 2009: It is every motor racing driver's dream to win around the legendary streets of Monaco and Karun Chandhok was well on his way to ...
HEARTBREAK FOR CHANDHOK AT MONACO
Transmission failure robs him of dominant win
Chennai, India, May 24, 2009: It is every motor racing driver's dream to win around the legendary streets of Monaco and Karun Chandhok was well on his way to achieve this amazing feat when a driveshaft failure cost him the win. Chandhok was dominating the race, when his drive shaft snapped eight laps from the end. The image of a dejected Karun Chandhok walking back to the pits said it all -- a disappointing end to a strong weekend for the Indian racing sensation.
A distraught Chandhok said, "I am gutted, words can't describe how I feel right now. Ever since I was a child my dream has been to win at Monaco and I was robbed of it today. Without any warning I lost drive instantly as I came down the start-finish straight and just could not believe this was happening. The team are also distraught as this would have been our first win in just their second weekend of GP2, having dominated the race, but unfortunately this is motorsport."
Chandhok got his weekend off to a good start by qualifying in 10th place for the feature face. He would have been higher up the order but got held up in traffic in the last three minutes, during his fastest lap. However, things did not start well as he slipped to 15th place in the first lap as many drivers cut the chicane in the first corner (8 drivers were given post race penalties for this). Chandhok felt the race slipping away from him, being stuck in traffic and got on the radio to the team asking to make his mandatory stop straight away. The call turned out to be an insipred on, with Chandhok reeling fastest lap after fastest lap. The Indian ace emerged seventh after the all the pitstops and remained in that position till the end of the race.
Starting second, Chandhok knew his only chance for the win was to get ahead going into the first corner. Chandhok said, "My plan for race 2 was to first make sure I get ahead at any cost and if I got in front, to drive like mad for the first 5 laps and then look after my tyres, because tyre wear on the super softs was quite high and there were no pitstops today." Chandhok started well and made a daring move around the outside of Ste Devote (first corner) to pass Pastor Maldonado and power into the lead, pulling out a 4sec lead in the first five laps.
Chandhok continued to dominate the race by controlling the pace and saving tyres as the top two pulled a 20sec lead over Jerome d'Ambrosio in third place. "I knew as long as the gap was around 1.5s it was ok and I was driving at 80% just being safe. Pastor is a specialist here having won in GP2 and World Series and he is in an ART car which is one of the best teams it was good to see that we had him beaten. "With just eight laps to go, disaster struck as Chandhok slowed and finally grounded to a halt. The right side driveshaft had snapped and lost all drive as he approached the start-finish straight. Chandhok said, "You don't get many chances to win at Monaco and this would have been perfect. It'll take a couple days to get over it but we have to push forward with the conviction of this weekend's race pace. Tiago and the team were visibly upset, but atleast we got our first points in race 1 and I had the chance to show everyone in the F1 paddock that I am strong at one of the most demanding of circuits in racing."
Chandhok was consoled by many from the Formula One and GP2 paddock "It was a great chance for me to showcase my ability at possibly the most demanding circuit in the most public of settings. People like Bernie Eccelstone and people from most of the F1 teams had very complimentary words which is great for me. Perhaps the most satisfying one was the ART team boss Frederic Vasseur who said how sorry he was to see me lose out despite his car benefiting!"
Karun paid tribute to his partners Punj Lloyd, JK Tyre and Amaron "We may have lost out today but the team and I are going to keep pushing to make sure our sponsors get their day on the podium soon"