Chandhok Switches to Ocean Racing in 2009

As he will not make an F1 debut any time soon, Karun Chandhok looks set to take on a new challenge in the GP2 Main Series. As a result of failing to reach a financial settlement with former team iSport International, the Indian driver decided to join Ocean Racing Technology, owned by former F1 driver Tiago Monteiro.

The team formerly known as BCN Competicion – the new designation came after Monetiro purchased the team in late 2008 – will start the new season on a 2-car strategy, with Chandhok being the first driver to be officially announced.

“It is very important for Ocean Racing Technology to guarantee the presence of a talented driver such as Karun Chandhok. He is fast, a hard worker and already has some great results on different kinds of tracks. From what we hear, he always had an excellent working relationship with engineers and team principals that he has previously worked with and has won two races in the GP2 Main Series,” said Monteiro after presenting Chandhok.

The Indian was recently tipped by F1 supreme Bernie Ecclestone with the best chance of joining the Formula 1 roster in the near future. He has already won two races in the GP2 Series so far, with two different teams: Durango in 2007 (Spa-Francorchamps) and iSport in 2008 (Hockenheim). He finished last season as the 10th best driver of the Main Series.

“I'm very happy to have concluded a deal with Ocean Racing Technology. I've known Tiago for a few years now since we briefly raced together in World Series and of course he was Narain (Karthikeyan)'s teammate at Jordan. I really believe that having an ex-F1 driver running a team is a big plus as he understands what is needed from our perspective,” said Chandhok.

“Of course, going to a new team is always a bit of a gamble for a driver. Any new team will take some time to get fully up to speed and it's slightly unrealistic to think we're going to be Championship contenders, but certainly the objective is to win races this year. iSport was a very good team but we could not conclude a suitable financial agreement and have parted ways on good terms. My experience with them will certainly be of benefit as I work to develop ORT into a front running team,” added the Indian driver.
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