Advertisement
Tuesday, Dec 07, 2021
Outlook.com
Outlook.com

Karun Chandhok Denied Entry Into A Restaurant Due To Colour Of Skin, Reveals Former F1 Driver

Formula 1 launched #weraceasone initiative last year to tackle racism and inequality in the sport. But Karun Chandhok said it will take time for the sport to become truly diverse

Karun Chandhok Denied Entry Into A Restaurant Due To Colour Of Skin, Reveals Former F1 Driver
Karun Chandhok competed in Formula 1 between 2009-2010. | File
Karun Chandhok Denied Entry Into A Restaurant Due To Colour Of Skin, Reveals Former F1 Driver
outlookindia.com
2021-05-27T17:01:21+05:30

Denied entry into a restaurant on the basis of his skin colour recently, former Grand Prix driver-turned TV expert Karun Chandhok says more awareness needs to be created against racism through Formula 1 though it has already taken "impressive" steps to address the issue. (More Sports News)

Chandhok competed in Formula 1 between 2009-2010. He is now a well-respected commentator and alongside seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, one of the few non-white faces seen in the paddock .

Speaking to PTI from the UK after posting about his recent experience at a restaurant on social media during the Monaco GP last week, Chandhok said he would not dwell on the past but focus on contributing to make the sport more diverse including having more Indians on board.

He didn't reveal in which country the incident took place.

"I'm not really interested in talking about the past (about that incident) - the key is to talk about the future. We need to understand and learn why more people from non-white haven't been able to get involved in the sport and Formula 1 plus Lewis via his Hamilton Commission are doing some very important research to understand that.

"Formula 1 at the moment has really taken up the cause of improving diversity within the sport.

"Historically, this is a sport where over 90% of the people involved have been white and therefore as one of the few people from a minority ethnic background, I'm very encouraged to see that F1 as a sport and the teams as participants are taking steps to change that balance," said Chandhok, one of the two Formula 1 drivers from India.

Formula 1 has shown more intent in addressing racism after Hamilton said the sport was not doing enough for the cause.

Arguably the greatest driver of all-time, Hamilton, who is the only black driver on the grid, has been championing the anti-racism cause in his sport. He also lamented the lack of support from some of the fellow drivers on gestures like taking a knee in 2020 following the tragic killing of George Floyd in the US.

"While drivers are of course the most high profile and someone like Lewis has been very vocal about the topic, the reality is that the drivers are a small number of people when compared to engineers, mechanics, commercial and marketing people, TV pundits and journalists, marshals and officials, etc that make up the sport.

"Personally, of course I would love to see more Indians given an opportunity to work in the sport in any of these roles," said Chandhok.

Formula 1 launched #weraceasone initiative last year to tackle racism and inequality in the sport.

Chandhok said it will take time for the sport to become truly diverse.

"We have to be realistic and realise that this is a long term generational program. We cannot have a knee jerk reaction and just have people given jobs as a token or box ticking exercise.

"There has to be a meritocratic process set up, particularly aimed at kids from a diverse background to educate them that Formula 1 and motor racing is cool and interesting so they feel inspired to work in it one day.

"From my personal perspective, I've been in regular touch with Yath Gangakumaran and Ellie Norman at Formula 1 who are leading their Diversity and Inclusion program and I have also been invited onto the EDI working group for Motorsport UK, who are the FIA's ASN for the UK where we are looking at programs to attract people from a more diverse background into the sport," he added.

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Explainer | Why A Democratic India Must Junk Draconian AFSPA

Explainer | Why A Democratic India Must Junk Draconian AFSPA

Experts believe the AFSPA has caused more harm to the Indian State in insurgency-hit areas than mitigating problems. Here’s why.

Nagaland Ambush: Not Just AFSPA, It’s Time To Do Away With Most Special Laws

Nagaland Ambush: Not Just AFSPA, It’s Time To Do Away With Most Special Laws

It may be time for India to uphold human dignity, take a hard look at some of its regressive laws like AFSPA which includes Special Laws that authorises detention without trial.

Why England Are Resting James Anderson Vs AUS In 1st Ashes Test

Why England Are Resting James Anderson Vs AUS In 1st Ashes Test

The decision to rest Anderson at Gabba for the first Ashes 2021-22 Test is part of an English plan to keep the pace spearhead fresh for bigger challenges.

Why AFSPA In Jammu And Kashmir Is Not Just A Defence Act

Why AFSPA In Jammu And Kashmir Is Not Just A Defence Act

Has the AFSPA become an ideological Act, a tool to revise Kashmir history? Many analysts believe so.

Advertisement