Move over F1! There is a new formula in town and India is a big part of it.
On a day when Mahindra Racing announced their decision to launch a team in the fully electric FIA Formula E championships, Karun Chandhok revealed that he was in discussions with them to become the first Indian driver to compete in the series.
The Formula E is the highest class of racing for fully electrically powered cars and has been sanctioned by the FIA. The cars are expected to be as fast as 225km per hour and F1 team McLaren will provide the motor, transmission and electronics.
The debut season of the series will kick off in September 2014 and will feature 10 teams and 20 drivers. Seven of the teams had been announced earlier and Mahindra Racing became the eighth to confirm participation on Thursday.
“We are very proud to have a major global company like Mahindra join the FIA Formula E Championship. Adding a manufacturer from India to what is already a real global mix of teams is fantastic news for the series,” said Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag.
Mahindra could have an Indian driver on the grid when they line up in China for the first race of the season. Former F1 driver Chandhok, who has driven for HRT Racing and Team Lotus, said he was in discussions with Mahindra to drive for them. He had lined up in the FIA GT series this season for Seyffarth Racing.
“Until now, their priority was to make sure that they got their team in. There have been discussions and obviously they have indicated they want an Indian driver on board. I am definitely interested in driving for them, as I am always open to new challenges. But as of now, there is no agreement. I expect Mahindra to confirm their drivers next month,” Chandhok told TNIE.
Meanwhile, Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI) president Vicky Chandhok said the series could come to India in 2015.
“We have discussed the possibility of bringing the series to India. Alejandro Agag is an old friend and he is interested in India being a host. We will try to bring the series to India in either 2015 or 2016,” he said.