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The long-standing team-mates who dug into F1’s trenches

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Karun Chandhok has had quite a lot of team-mates in his eclectic profession, however one identify stands out in relation to selecting his favorite. Bruno Senna instantly involves thoughts for the Indian and never simply because the duo ended up as colleagues in GP2, System 1 and System E.

“From the primary GP2 take a look at we did collectively at Jerez [in 2007], we simply bought on rather well,” says the Sky F1 pundit, who raced alongside Ayrton Senna’s nephew at iSport within the 2008 GP2 Asia collection as a prelude to contesting the common season. “In fact, we wished to beat one another, however we had been very open.

“It was a very pleasing yr. We’d arrive at a race weekend and we’d begin with two totally different programmes, examine information and it was all very open sharing data.

“It was humorous as a result of I used to be at all times very open about the truth that Alain Prost was my childhood hero and I turned actually good mates with all of Bruno’s household.”

Senna gained that first contest in Asia, ending fifth within the standings to Chandhok’s thirteenth. Each completed on the rostrum at Monaco and Hockenheim, as Senna completed runner-up within the common season to Giorgio Pantano. However the subsequent time they teamed up they confronted a lot larger challenges. Chandhok joined Senna on the troubled HRT operation which took over Adrian Campos’s entry as they each stepped as much as F1 in 2010, Chandhok instantly from GP2 and Senna after a yr in sportscars racing for ORECA.

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PLUS: How HRT made it onto the F1 2010 grid

“We had been on this rollercoaster of chaos collectively,” says Chandhok. “We had been a really shut unit, together with his supervisor Chris Goodwin, my father and Bruno’s sister Bianca.

“So many days it felt just like the 5 of us attempting to push the group ahead and looking for the place the entire venture was going.”

Senna and Chandhok first raced collectively in GP2 for iSport in 2008

Picture by: Alastair Staley / Motorsport Images

Maybe surprisingly, given HRT’s lack of tempo and outcomes (14th was the very best end of 2010), Chandhok believes there was potential.

“Once they had the fallout with Dallara that was actually painful as a result of after we went there to do the seat-fitting, we noticed on the CAD drawings and within the wind tunnel that they had 60 factors of downforce they had been going to deliver to the automotive for Barcelona [round five],” says Chanhok, who was changed after 10 races. “And that might have put us with the Toro Rossos, within the midfield.

“Whenever you have a look at what Dallara did with Haas, that’s the place they arrived. There was a lot unfulfilled potential in that venture as a result of everybody fell out, it bought political and it simply bought messy.”

All through all of it, the working relationship between Chandhok and Senna remained sturdy. Having comparable driving types was additionally a bonus.

“I might really feel assured taking Bruno’s set-up from free follow to qualifying if he discovered one thing that labored, and vice versa” Karun Chandhok

“We wished comparable issues from the automotive,” says the 39-year-old. “That was helpful after we went testing – usually, what labored for one labored for the opposite.

“I might really feel assured taking Bruno’s set-up from free follow to qualifying if he discovered one thing that labored, and vice versa.”

Apparently, Chandhok feels their relative strengths modified over time: “In GP2 he was usually a greater qualifier than me, after we had races the place we needed to do tyre administration I used to be usually fairly good.

Perception: Karun Chandhok picks his favourite car

“Once we bought to F1 it swapped round somewhat bit. He’d had a yr out in sportscars and a few large shunts, so when he got here again I feel he’d misplaced somewhat little bit of the sting from qualifying.

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“I don’t suppose there was a transparent pattern, he was higher than me at vitality administration in System E.”

Their last season collectively was additionally a tough one. They raced for Mahindra within the inaugural season of System E, with Senna ending tenth and Chandhok seventeenth.

Chandhok reckons his strengths relative to Senna evolved over time

Chandhok reckons his strengths relative to Senna developed over time

Picture by: James Moy

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