I have been accused of having or showing too much Bernie-love from time to time and that is probably a fair criticism of me if I’m honest. Bernie Ecclestone is indeed an enigma. Yes the F1 impresario is an object of insurmountable novelty, shrewd business acumen, and longevity. I’ve argued many times that always blaming Bernie is an easy target on many of the issues that are much more complicated than one man’s curious machinations.
I am sad to relay that I may have been ousted as the President of the Bernie Ecclestone fan club by one Karun Chandhok. No mystery here as Chandhok’s entire existence on the 2010 grid can be attributed to Ecclestone’s impressive negotiating hand. Little wonder that the ring leader of F1 orchestrated the hiring of Chandhok at Hispania Racing Team (HRT) as a pending Indian Grand Prix would be further promoted with an Indian driver in the series. Patronizingly obvious to most who read and walk upright.
The Times ran a story today in which Chandhok heaped praise on the 79-year-old open-wheel cat herder and why not?
“Bernie has always been a superb pillar of support to me and my family. It’s amazing how much that man can do in a single day,” The Sun quoted Chandok, as saying.
“This last winter has been very hard and it’s taken us a while to get a deal sorted, so there are always times when you have doubts but in the end it all worked out okay.
“Now it’s just an unbelievable feeling. I am absolutely thrilled to be able to fulfill a lifelong dream to break into Formula One,” he said.
“We’ve been working for so many years for this opportunity, and now we’ve finally made it, it feels a bit surreal to be honest. I think it will only fully sink in I am going to be on the same grid as world champions like Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso when I get to Bahrain,” Chandok added.
Ecclestone didn’t invent F1 but he may very well invent Chandhok and the reality is, the HRT driver’s nationality is key to a prideful support of a promotional gambit. Fair enough…