Aditya Patel, Chennai-born VW Scirocco Cup racer and one of India’s most promising young talents, will be rubbing shoulders with former Formula1 greats when he races in the inaugural Indian Racing League’s i1 Super Series in January 2012. Aditya has considerable national and international racing experience and I spoke to him for India’s top sports blogging website, iSport.
We spoke about the much-awaited city vs. city racing league, its illustrious driver line-up and of course his first-ever i1 Super Series test which was held in Abu Dhabi.
Kunal: What are your thoughts on the i1 Super Series?
Aditya: The i1 Supercar Series is clearly an interesting concept. Being the first of its kind in motorsport, it will attract attention from all over the world! Who wouldn’t want to see the likes of Frentzen, Alesi, Salo and Villeneuve fighting against each other again? And then, there’s us Indians! I don’t think any of us can wait for it to start.
Kunal: A mix of ex-F1 and Indian drivers. How good is the opportunity for the Indian drivers?
Aditya: For most of us, it’s a dream come true. It’s almost like being on a Formula One grid if you ask me. How often does one get to rub shoulders with drivers of such caliber? The fact that we get to partner an ex-F1 driver would definitely teach us a lot and take us a long way forward. Kudos to i1 for that!
Kunal: You’ve driven against ex-F1 drivers in the Scirocco R-Cup, which driver(s) are you keen to pitch yourself against in this series?
Aditya: That’s a tough one! Some of them are drivers who were around when I started watching Formula1 on TV. I’d say Villeneuve, Frentzen and Alesi.
Kunal: Explain the first test and what exactly were you out to achieve (personally) in this test
Aditya: Well, we were given 20 minutes in the car which isn’t much especially if you have to learn the track as well. My main focus was on learning how the brakes work, the cornering attitude of the car and finding the limit of the tyres.
(Read post: i1 Super Series Pre Season Test Results)
Kunal: Your immediate thoughts after driving the Radical SR3. Considering that you race saloon cars, how similar or different was this experience?
Aditya: Compared to the saloon cars I’ve driven, the Radical was a bit different. In fact, I think it’s a lot more similar to a formula car in many ways. Since it’s been three years since I sat in a formula car, I had to dig out the good old formula driving technique and mix it with the saloon style!
Kunal: Considering you are from Chennai, there are many local drivers who will be vying a seat in the Chennai team. If not Chennai, which other team would you like to race for?
Aditya: I guess it’s true that every driver would like to represent his own city but the way I look at it, it’s an opportunity to race against some real big names. A car and some tarmac would do! I’m sure all the teams will be extremely professional and give their best to their drivers.
Kunal: And your preference for a team-mate from the current driver line-up?
Aditya: Heinz-Harald Frentzen!
For those new to motorsport and the concept of i1 Super Series, do read my introductory piece here – Indian Racing League is launched, welcome the i1 Super Series
You can also get to know more about the series by listening to the i1 Super Series podcast.
Most read i1 Super Series topic on my blog: Should Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok drive in the i1 Super Series