From: The Times of India, 11 May 2017

18-year-old Mahaveer leaves school to chart out a career on race tracks

It's not easy for a Chennai boy to give up formal schooling to chase a dream, but eighteen-year-old racer Mahaveer Raghunathan is doing just that.The promising racer, who finished second in the Auto GP last year, left his school Sir Sivaswami Kalalay when he was in the eight standard and completed the rest of his education through a correspondence course from Cambridge University in the United Kingdom as it gave him the freedom to pursue his passion for racing.

“From my ninth standard onwards, I did a correspondence course from Cambridge University in UK. They have their exams in Chennai too. I found it difficult to attend school after my 8th standard due to my busy racing schedule,“ Mahaveer, who is currently doing a correspondence course in sports science from a private college in Pune, told TOI.

Such a decision, Ma haveer says, wouldn't have been possible with out the unwavering sup port of his parents. “My family has always been supportive. They have encouraged me to do whatever I want. I have given up everything else to be a racer. I have no other hobbies or interests. This is what I have always wanted to do.“

When asked how his interest for racing initially began, he added: “I started karting at the age of 12. I used to like cars and driving at high speed excited me.That's why I got into karting. I played a bit of cricket in my childhood but once I started karting, I completely stopped everything else. There was no time for anything else.“

As far as his future ambitions are concerned, Mahaveer, who plans to compete in the FIA Formula 2 Championship next year, is setting realistic targets.

“My aim is to race in the F2 championship in 2018. It's the perfect training ground for Formula One. I don't think I am ready for it yet. I will be taking part in the Boss GP this year, which will help me gain more experience for the next level.“

The Chennai lad has been driving for Coloni Motorsport, an Italian-based racing team which took part in Formula One between 1987 and 1991, for the last two years.

“Coloni Motorsport has been funding me for the last two years. There is no financial burden as a result. Obviously , every person who races ultimately dreams to get into Formula One. That is my aim too. But I don't want to look too far ahead. I just want to keep doing well and ensure my progression to the next stage.“