‘King’ Chandhok happy to leave his throne

Last Updated: May 08, 2010, 17:31 PM IST

Barcelona: Formula One driver Karun Chandhok had a spring in his step at the Spanish Grand Prix on Saturday after recovering from a bout of food poisoning that laid him low earlier in the week.

“I feel better now, finally recovered,” he told reporters at the Circuit de Catalunya.

“I have never been so ill in India. I went to Munich on Monday and I ate something there. I have been really ill since. All of Tuesday I was in bed, I just couldn’t move.”

Chandhok said Brazilian Bruno Senna, his team mate at the Hispania (HRT) team, had been less than sympathetic to his plight.

“He called me ‘The King’ for the amount of time I spent on the throne (toilet) for the last few days,” he smiled. “It’s not been a pleasant week.”

The Indian, who also has a dust allergy that kicks in whenever he goes home to Chennai, managed to extract some revenge by mocking the Brazilian’s fear of needles when they had a health check together.

Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix is a home race for the team, one of three all-new outfits on the starting grid, and Chandhok said he had been taken aback by the local response.

“We’ve got two paddock suites here full of guests and fans. We could have stood there all day talking to people, they are so enthusiastic,” he said after Thursday practice.

“In the hotel I walked in and it was really strange. Normally you sign the check in form and instead I signed about 20 autographs at the reception because all the hotel staff had these pictures.

“We went to a football game and the people at Barca (Barcelona) all knew who we were. You get the feeling that there’s a bit of national sentiment behind it,” he added.

“But the public will always follow a driver more than a team. and as long as you have (Spanish double world champion) Fernando Alonso that’s where the loyalties will lie.”

Bureau Report