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From Chennai to champion

3 years ago

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Karun Chandhok | Racing driver


19 June 2021

Having now lived in the UK for nearly 20 years and being in the fast paced motorsport bubble, I don’t ever sit down and think about how I got here. As a 37-year-old juggling various jobs, this isn’t really the time to be sitting on a beach reflecting on life; but every once in a while someone asks, ‘How did a kid growing up in India find his way to Formula 1?’

On this occasion it was Ti’s Mr Frankel, who suggested it might be something of more than usual interest to the ever-discerning subscribers of this app. So, and in the hope he’s right [I am – AF], here goes.

I was born into a motoring and motorsport family. My great grandfather started a business trading car parts and my grandfather started racing in the Sixties. He actually founded the Federation of Motorsports Clubs of India (FMSCI), which became the FIA and FIM’s governing body in India. Even my grandmother did some racing in the Seventies, which is pretty amazing if you think of the societal preconceptions of how a woman in India ‘should’ be living at that time.

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