Karun Chandhok has rubbed shoulders with the Vettels, Alonsos and Buttons on track. Now, it will be his turn to be their voice.
The 29-year-old will be part of the Drivers’ Commission, the FIA World Motorsport Council announced on Friday.
And the Indian ace has no qualms taking up the responsibility. After all administration is in his DNA. His father Vicky is the president of the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India.
Chandhok will not walk on uncharted waters. He has been involved in the development of Buddh International Circuit at Greater Noida and also associated with the JK Asia Racing Series.
“It’s a great honour to represent colleagues. Not often you get that opportunity. Besides, I’ve been involved in a lot of administrative work in India, so it shouldn’t be a problem. I’m happy to contribute to the development of motorsports,” Chandhok told DNA.
Chandhok will team up with Formula One great Nigel Mansell and former Marussia test driver Maria de Villota to look into the rights and interests of drivers in single-seaters, which covers premier motorsport event like Formula One.
The 26-year-old is happy that the drivers will finally have a platform to air their grievances. “For the first time, it gives drivers a voice in the way our sport is run. We may not be able to make the final decisions as everything will be decided by the FIA, but at least we have an official platform to voice our opinions and say our side of things,” said Chandhok, who has raced for HRT and Lotus in Formula One.
Plans to set up the commission were made last year following the provisional recognition granted by the International Olympic Committee to FIA as a federation. The commission will be headed by Emerson Fittipaldi, a two-time Formula One champion and a respected name in motorsports.
Sebastien Loeb, a nine-time World Rally champion, will be the vice-president. For someone who has always dreamt of being involved in Formula One, it is a great opportunity to work with the likes of Fittipaldi, Loeb and Mansell.
“The commission has some big names and it will be an honour to work with them. FIA decided to put together a commission which will have a variety of drivers with different backgrounds. It will give an overall perspective of racing in different parts of the world.”
FIA had asked all the member countries for nominations and Chandhok was India’s candidate. While he doesn’t know what criterion FIA used to select the commission, he is more than happy to be part of it.