Ex-F1 driver Karun Chandhok has called for younger drivers to be included more in Formula 1, and also said racing’s top-level weekend format could change to include an element of junior series. Speaking at Autosport International, we asked him if thought it was harder for young drivers coming through than it was in his racing career.
By Adam Dickinson
“I think it’s always been difficult for young drivers to come through to F1. But what’s made it more difficult is the fact that there are only twenty seats, I think that’s the biggest challenge,” said Chandok.
“If you go back to the early 90s they had pre-qualifying, they had all these smaller teams who even if they had no chance of getting a point or a podium they would get a bit of F1 experience and then maybe get picked up by a bigger team. I think that’s what’s missing.”
“Even in 2010 we had 24 cars and those four were enough for Di Grassi, Bruno, myself, Petrov to join. Certainly that opened up those four and that’s what’s missing, we need a couple more teams for that.”
Chandhok also suggested changing the format of F1 weekends, including bringing in a feature of many feeder series:
“I’d have qualifying on the Saturday morning for the Grand Prix on Sunday, but on Saturday afternoon I’d have a top 10, reverse grid but with half the points.
“So you’d have a shorter race which is only 45 minutes (if a GP is an hour and a half), call it a sprint race. So top 10 reverse, and half points because it’s half distance.”
“I would have a Friday free-practice session where every team has to run a young driver (I’d define as not having done two races) so they have to run a young driver on a practice session.”