Karun Chandhok is backing Arjun Maini for F3 Euro success in 2016

Arjun Maini's manager Karun Chandhok believes the Indian teenager can win in the Formula 3 European Championship with T-Sport next season

Karun Chandhok is backing Arjun Maini for F3 Euro success in 2016

The 18-year-old Maini has joined the Brackley-based team for 2016 after a rookie F3 season with Van Amersfoort Racing, which culminated in a switch to T-Sport for the Macau Grand Prix, in which he finished 10th.

Maini will race with the new Tomei-built ThreeBond engine, which powered him in Macau on just its second competitive outing.

Ex-Formula 1 racer Chandhok told Autosport: "If you're with Carlin or Prema Powerteam you have to win the championship - that's expected of you.

"But being with an 'underdog' team, if he can come away with a couple of wins and in the top six in the championship that will be good, and I think both of those are realistic goals that he should be aiming for.

"He's got the speed and he did a good job in Formula 4 [where he finished second to George Russell in the 2014 BRDC championship].

"This season was a bit of a disappointment, but anyone who can run in the top five in Pau and finish in the top 10 as a rookie in Macau has to be a good pedaller."

Chandhok spent his first three seasons in Europe racing with T-Sport, in British F3 in 2002-04, but said that the decision to join the team was Maini's.

"We did a very meritocratic process," he said. "He has experience of Van Amersfoort, and he tested with Prema, Carlin, T-Sport and Motopark.

"As much as I guide him and hold his hand, I always say, 'It's your life - you decide where you want to go.'

"The opportunity was not there with Prema, so it was a case of looking elsewhere.

"Arjun felt he learned an awful lot with 'Skelly' [T-Sport technical director Alan Woodhead] and the guys leading up to and in Macau, and he relished the attention that he got - he was quite taken aback by that.

"And we also shouldn't forget that T-Sport proved in Macau in 2014 with Nick Cassidy and in European F3 in 2013 with Alexander Sims that they can be competitive with the right driver."

T-Sport plans to run a second driver, who will use the British NBE engine, most recently testing Australian Formula 4 runner-up Tom Randle at Valencia last week.



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