Karun Chandok: F1 won't be threatened by Formula E
Bengaluru: Indian racer Karun Chandok yesterday laughed at the idea of Formula E's green credentials threatening the existence of Formula One, considered the pinnacle of motor racing.
"Formula E is a different sports arena. They are not competing with F1, GP2 or F3 or anything else. They want to establish as the parallel and vertical sport," he told a section of reporters on the sidelines of an interaction organised by Mahindra-Reva here.
The former Caterham F1 driver, who races for the India's Mahindra Formula E team, said Formula E cannot be compared with any other series.
The objective of Formula E is to transfer technology from being a racing car technology to road-car technology, Chandok said. "It is a double whammy. They are focusing on marketing and engineering point of view. They want to transfer technology from the racing track to the road," he said.
Chandok said Formula E is a huge mental challenge unlike Formula One where speed and physical are major challenges.
"Formula E is a huge mental challenge. I think the speed and physical is high in other categories including F1, but Formula E is mentally pretty exhausting," he said.
However, the lack of sound in Formula E cars confuse drivers to start with, however, the human brains have the potential to adjust quickly to any change, Chandok said.
"It (Formula E) is a kind of playing video game on mute, and to start with is a bit confusing, but human brain is simply remarkable. It gets quickly used to any change," he said.
Formula E is a mentally taxing race as drivers are exhausted at the end of the race as they have to do all the maths in the absence of external telemetry and no technical feedback, Chandok said.
Unlike Formula One, Formula E takes the sport to the people rather than the other way around, Chandok said.
"Running on city streets rather than on race circuits an hour or two outside the major cities means that the racing is being taken to the people rather than the other way around," he said.
"For someone to just take a cycle or a metro to the event rather than deal with traffic jams and parking hassles on top of the commute will hopefully make it very appealing," he said.