Q and A with Karun Chandhok
The Bridgestone-supported GP2 Series heads to the hills of Belgium’s superb Spa Francorchamps race circuit, located in the Ardennes forests for the ninth round of the GP2 Series. iSport International driver Karun Chandhok scored his first-ever GP2 Series race win there last season when driving for Durango, and this season he’s hoping to be back on the podium.
Here Karun gives his thoughts on his season and what it takes for success at Spa.
How are you finding driving for iSport International, reigning GP2 Series champions?
At the end of last season I targeted a few teams but iSport is the one I really wanted. We worked really hard over the winter and we managed to get a deal together. It’s been a fantastic year in terms of working relationships with the team and I have had a great time, they are such a great team of people – engineers, mechanics, everybody. Also, as a working relationship between two teammates I don’t think there is a better combination in the pit lane than myself and Bruno.
How well do you work with your teammate to develop the set-up of the car?
We do well with sharing information and we have been quite open with each other. I think we are both mature enough to understand that if we work together both of us can benefit from it. More than anything, we are good friends too.
At Spa in 2007 you claimed your first ever GP2 win, what can you tell us about the track?
It’s a mega circuit. I think it’s in every driver’s top five circuits. It’s a great track because you can overtake and pass people which you can’t do at some of the other circuits, such as the Hungaroring. The atmosphere is brilliant, the crowd is fantastic and it’s just a nice place to go to.
What are the fastest parts and best features of the circuit at Spa?
I think everyone goes for Eau Rouge, but Eau Rouge is now easy flat in a GP2 car and you don’t even think about it. I think the middle sector is really exciting. Eau Rouge is still exciting for the first few laps of the race with heavy fuel for sure, but Pouhon is probably the most challenging part of the circuit.
Are there any particular parts of the track where you need to conserve your tires?
Spa is actually quite hard on tires because in the middle sector there are a lot of long corners where you are leaning on the rear tires a lot for a long period of time with a high g-load, so you need to conserve your tires a little bit in the early part of the races. Also, Spa is one of those places where it can rain any minute so you have to factor in that you might end up running wet tires more than slicks that weekend. Source: Bridgestone