Karun Chandhok has today been announced as an HRT driver for the 2010 season, and will be teaming up with his 2008 GP2 team-mate Bruno Senna for what will be both of their debut seasons in Formula 1.
KC is a brilliant bloke, and I’m absolutely delighted for him. He and Bruno also work very well together, as was evidenced by their eight podiums and three wins together in the 2008 GP2 Series which took their iSport team to second in the championship.
Their GP2 team boss in 2008, Paul Jackson, confirmed that the two will bring much to their new team.
“First of all, it is great to see both our 2008 drivers finally graduate to F1 after a couple of false starts. It would have been a grave injustice had these talents gone to waste,” he told me this afternoon, shortly after KC was confirmed at HRT.
“I think I have gone on record before as saying that 2008 was one of the most enjoyable years racing I can remember, Bruno and Karun gelled so well as a team and genuinely helped each other and the team develop. There was absolute trust and respect between them and they would accept each other’s judgement on set up without question. There was never any gamesmanship or misleading, they are both really good genuine guys.
“I know that their situation is going to be very difficult at the start, but HRT couldn’t have a more honest, hard working pair and with time and patience I hope they will progress.
“The world has seen how Bruno performed in his Honda test and likewise, Karun in his Red Bull test. At least HRT should have eliminated one area of doubt when they make their debut in Bahrain.”
So, while HRT may have one of the most ill thought through names since Toyota launched the MR2 (translating to “shit” in French) and Mitsubishi created the Pajero (“wanker” in Spanish), the team formerly known as Campos has at least got their driver choice right.
With KC and Bruno on board, I know where I’m going to be heading on my first grid walk. You couldn’t ask for a better pair of guys or better friends to launch a rookie team onto the grid.