Monday, July 5, Goodwood, England: Indian Formula One driver Karun Chandhok went back in time over the weekend at the prestigious Goodwood Festival of Speed in South England over the weekend. The festival, held at the Goodwood estate, is an annual historical event, which is a celebration of the history of the sport for passionate and enthusiastic fans. This unique hill-climb event attracted over 100,000 people over the weekend. The festival pays homage and respect to the most significant cars in motorsport history, from classic Formula One cars to rally cars to super cars. India’s Karun Chandhok was personally invited by the Jonathan Williams, son of Williams F1 team owner, Frank Williams, to drive the 1982 winning Williams car of Keke Rosberg.
A beaming Chandhok commented, “This is definitely a dream for me. History drives all of us and I am no different. The whole weekend has been fantastic, the atmosphere, the cars and the people from the past, present future who are here. I drove Keke Rosberg’s winning 1982 car and the cars are so different from what we drive today - no electronic aids, no buttons on the steering wheel, has the good old manual gearshift and was really quick down the straight. It was a special car as it was one of the few cars that did not have a turbo engine while most of its competitors did.”
Goodwood’s unique ability to attract the top works Formula 1 teams is a key strength of the importance and exclusivity of the event – nowhere else in the world can you get so close to the latest and greatest F1 cars and drivers. The 60th anniversary of the Formula One World Championship was celebrated with paddocks full of important Grand Prix cars and drivers from the last six decades. Past Formula One world champions and Grand Prix winners expected include Emerson Fittipaldi, Sir Jackie Stewart, Mika Hakkinen, John Surtees, Sir Stirling Moss, Jochen Mass and Patrick Tambay.
Along with the past champions, the current Formula One drivers included Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, Mark Webber, Nico Rosberg, Nico Hulkenberg, Jarno Trulli, Heikki Kovalainen, Bruno Senna. Reigning Formula One world champion Jenson Button drove Alain Prost’s classic McLarens, the MP4-2C, as well the more recent MP4-23 on Saturday, while Hamilton also drove the McLarne MP4-23, the car with which he won his title in 2008. Chandhok HRT team-mate Bruno Senna drove his late uncle Ayrton’s iconic McLaren MP4-8.
As this year marks 60 years of Formula One, 50 F1 cars were featured over the weekend in the annual hill climb race. Chandhok is a motorsport history buff and just could not pass up this opportunity. “When Jonathan Williams asked me whether I would be interested in doing this I said yes even before he could finish the question. I have told him I will be happy to do this year after year if he wants. I met so many fans and signed many autographs as well. In addition there were some absolutely fantastic cars on display! Seeing Jackie Stewart in Jim Clark’s 1965 and Emerson Fittipaldi talking to him was like a dream.”
Chandhok will now focus his attention on this week’s Silverstone GP, his ‘home’ race. The British GP will be the 10th race of the season.