He may not have driven the requisite 300km to be at the right level of testing experience, but India's [ Images ] Formula One debutant Karun Chandhok [ Images ] has got his super licence on a recommendation of the World Safety Commission ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix [ Images ] in Manama on Sunday.
Chandhok, India's sole Formula One driver this year, made his debut at the Bahrain track barely a week after sealing his seat with the Hispania F1 team.
Hispania is ready to run under the direction of head of operations, German engineer Boris Bermes and the responsibility of team principal Dr Colin Kolles.
But Chandhok has no illusions about what awaits him this weekend. His new Spanish-based HRT team, formerly Campos Meta, is now ready. But the team will have to use this Bahrain race as a working practice session, and possibly to do so for a few more races until the first European Grand Prix.
"It's so very exciting and I could hardly wait for the race to start," said Chandhok.
"So many things happened to me so quickly. From the early days with support from JK Racing, Amaron, Punj Lloyd [ Get Quote ] who helped me in GP2, to Formula 1 [ Images ] and Bernie Ecclestone [ Images ] wishing me a good career; to everyone congratulating me in India and encouraging me in the paddock from Jenson Button [ Images ], Rubens Barrichello [ Images ], Fernando Alonso [ Images ], Mark Webber [ Images ] to Michael Schumacher [ Images ]," added Chandhok.
"I am big fan of Schumacher. I would like to see him beat Hamilton and the other champions this year! But what I would like most even is have my photo taken with World Champion Alain Prost," he said.
Chandhok is the only driver not to have driven the 300km necessary for a driver to be at the right level of testing, as until this weekend the Indian could only watch as his mechanics worked 20-hour shifts to finish off the car incorporating all necessary details to fit in the Cosworth engine on the Dallara-made chassis in time.
Chandhok officially got his super licence on Thursday at the pre-Bahrain GP World Motorsport Council meeting at Bahrain's Sheraton hotel, presided by Sheikh Abdullah Bin Isa Al-Khalifa, President of the Bahrain Motor Federation.
Twenty six members of the world council took a number of decisions and sanctioned Chandhok's ability to drive with unanimity.
Chandhok got his super licence in the same meeting that, subject to final approval of the calendar by the World Council, Bernie Ecclestone, President of FOM, informed the FIA that India will host a Formula One Grand Prix in 2011.
It's a very special case where the freshly-born Hispania Racing F1 Team has not even conducted a shakedown test of the Cosworth-powered car to get it ready for the Bahrain season-opener.
"The first weekend's going to be very tough I think," he said.