Ecclestone Saved Chandhok's Career in 2006
And it was Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone who saved his career at the end of that year, as the 79-year old Brit managed to secure Chandhok a place in F1's feeder series with Durango. The Indian did his part well enough during the following 2007 campaign, when he won his first race in the GP2 Series – at Spa – after which his career went upwards.
“A week before the testing season, Bernie Ecclestone told me that me he had managed to come to a deal with (GP2 team) Durango which totally rescued my career. That was a defining moment in my career, one I will always be indebted to them for,” said Chandhok, according to a report from the GMM news agency.
Ever since last year, when it was announced that the Formula One series would welcome 4 new teams in 2010, Bernie Ecclestone lobbied consistently for the Indian racer. While a Force India move eventually failed during the early stages of last winter, his F1 spot was finally secured weeks before the Bahrain Grand Prix, with HRT F1.
A well-known factor for his HRT F1 deal is the $5 million in sponsorship he's bringing to the table for the Spanish outfit. While rumored that this amount of money may come from Jaypee Group – the company that is currently constructing a Hermann Tilke-designed F1 circuit about 40km from the capital New Delhi – Chandhok denied it immediately.
“The Jaypee Group had no influence in me securing a drive. My father and I know the people and are advising on various aspects of the (Indian GP) 2011 project but as regards to my drive there's no link at the moment,” said the Indian racer.