Karun Chandhok joins ESPNF1

Karun Chandhok, India’s most recognised Formula One driver, who debuted in Formula One for Hispania Racing F1 last season, is joining ESPNF1 as a columnist. Chandhok will review each 2011 Formula One grand prix, beginning with a round-up and recap of the Australian Grand Prix on 27 March. His addition to the site comes as ESPNF1 expands its offering to motorsports fans with the launch of free iPhone and Android mobile applications.

Last year, Chandhok became only the second Indian, after Narain Karthikeyan, to race in Formula One. He has the distinction of the being the only driver to go straight into qualifying on his debut, (at the Bahrain Grand Prix), without ever having driven the car before. In his second race, in Australia, Chandhok recorded the team’s first classified finish. Across his debut season, he finished in all but two of his races.

Chandhok brings his motor racing knowledge and experience to fans and ESPNF1 readers. His hugely successful career started when he became the youngest Indian National Racing Champion in 2000 at the age of 16. In 2005 Chandhok represented India in the inaugural A1 GP. After winning the Belgian GP in 2007, Red Bull invited Chandok to test its Formula One car, making him the youngest Indian ever to do so. And in 2010 Chandhok was named as Hispania Racing F1 Team’s driver. Chandhok joins ESPNF1 as Formula One enjoys growing popularity in India, with the country due to host its first ever Formula One race in October.

Chandhok said: “I am delighted to be part of the ESPN team. The Formula One season this year is going to be a cracker and ESPNF1 is an ideal platform to reach out to Formula One fans across the globe. I have been very impressed with the overall content on ESPNF1 and look forward to this association.”

Chandhok joins ESPN as the sports media company adds to its growing mobile media portfolio with the launch of ESPNF1 iPhone and Android mobile applications. The ESPNF1 app will feature all the content fans can get on the website including comprehensive race coverage, commentary and stats.

Additionally, ESPNF1 will offer motor racing fans Formula 1 Fantasy, a new game allowing motor racing fans to create a Formula One team based on all the teams in the 2011 season. Players have a virtual £50 million to put together a Fantasy F1 team to manage throughout the season. Success is secured by ensuring that a team’s overall value increases as much as possible during the season.

Tom Gleeson ESPN’s vice president, digital media, ESPN International, said: “ESPN is delighted to be adding such a well regarded Formula One driver to ESPNF1’s line up. Chandhok’s Formula One racing experience will provide ESPNF1 users with leading insight and analysis through what is sure to be another gripping Formula One season. He joins ESPNF1 at an exciting time as launch our new app, giving ESPN another opportunity to connect with sports fans wherever they are.”

ESPNF1 is part of ESPN’s comprehensive online offering to sports fans. This Formula One season ESPNF1 will be providing the most in depth coverage to date, featuring news, statistics, photos, videos and features.

Founded in 1997 as Racing-Live, ESPNF1’s content includes news, live reports from grands prix and features written by some of the sport’s leading names. The site also includes in-depth statistics on every one of the 818 drivers who have driven in a race as well as in-depth information on every grand prix since 1950.

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