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Rediff.com  » Sports » 'No regrets' of not being part of F1: Chandhok

'No regrets' of not being part of F1: Chandhok

October 20, 2012 19:22 IST

Karun Chandhok has no regrets of missing out Formula One action rather he is happy being part of FIA World Endurance Championship, which he says is an "eye opener" for him.

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Chandhok, who test drove for then Team Lotus' during the 2011 season, shifted to Endurance series after failing to earn a full-time F1 contract for 2012 calender.

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"I have no regrets because I did everything possible to make things happen in F1. When you feel you wasted an opportunity, then you feel disappointed. When you feel you made every use of the opportunity, you done the best you can, that's all you can do. If you can't get the sponsorship, if you can't get the money you need...that's life and you just need to get on with it," Chandhok said.

Karun Chandhok"Moving from F1 to Endurance has been a very interesting change. I think the mental shift has been very different because you have to remain focussed for a much longer period of time. You need to stay bit more relaxed, it's not a sprint. It's a long-drawn event and a new challenge. The cars are very good to drive. It's been an eye opener for me," Chandhok said.

However, it was clear that the Indian racer would have loved to be part of action when Formula One race is happening in his country.

Narain Karthikeyan of Hispania Racing Team (HRT) will be the only Indian driver on the grid at the Buddh International Circuit.

"That's life and what can you do? This is life; you just have to get on with it. I am going to be in Shanghai racing next weekend," he said.

The six hour race on the Shanghai International Circuit concludes the maiden season of the World Endurance Championship (WEC) on October 28.

Chandhok said "situation is tricky" but if opportunity comes his way to race in Formula One, he will never say 'No'.

"Some drivers are able to do it while others not able to have any access to those sponsors. If an opportunity comes, obviously I'll love to do it. You know no driver will say no but at the same time the World Endurance Championship is an eye opening experience," he said.

Chandhok expressed satisfaction with his performance in the inaugural season of the WEC and hoped to continue with the JRM Racing, which won the 2011 FIA GT1 World Championship with Nissan.

His team finished an excellent result at Six Hours of Fuji in Japan where they finished second in the privateers' class and fifth overall.

"It's been good. We had ups and downs like any other sport but it's been a fun season. We finished second in Japan.

By and large, the championship has been quite good. The championship takes place at a much higher competitive level.

"At JRM, we have good people, the engineers have got a lot of F1 experience. The other drivers have been racing sports car since the early 90s. I have been able to learn a lot from them and we work very well together. There's a lot of respect for me; they treat me very well and it's been fun," he added.

Photograph: Paul Gilham/Getty Images

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