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Meeting my heroes

3 years ago

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Karun Chandhok | Racing driver


16 June 2021

To me it is not enough simply to be successful to be considered a hero; you must inspire others too. Heroes are those we hope to emulate and from whom we learn. They are unique, revolutionary and leave a lasting legacy. But heroes also imprint an image of themselves in our minds we don’t want ever to become tarnished.

Which I guess is why it is so often said you shouldn’t meet your heroes, but I wholeheartedly disagree. The best part of meeting our heroes is realising that they’re human, with flaws, insecurities and vulnerabilities built up from a lifetime in their chosen field. Just like us.

Unsurprisingly, I had a number of motorsport heroes growing up. In the late Eighties and Nineties I was a huge fan of Alain Prost, then cheered for Michael Schumacher after Alain retired in 1993. But I was also fascinated by Jim Clark and Mario Andretti. They frequently came up in books and magazines I devoured as a child and I wanted to read and learn more about them every day. I admired the sheer grit, tenacity and showmanship of Nigel Mansell too, especially when he left F1 to go to IndyCar.

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