Karun's single-seater career got underway in 2000, when he was declared Indian National Racing Champion having won seven of ten rounds of the Formula Maruti series. Indeed, the youngster took pole position and posted fastest lap in all ten races.
Karun's 'domination' of Asian and Indian motorsport continued in 2001 when he was declared Formula 2000 Asia champion driving for Team India Racing, thereby becoming the youngest ever Asian formula champion.
That same year he tested for the Carlin F3 team, however, it was with T-Sport that he contested the 2002 F3 National Class, finishing the season sixth overall.
In 2003, still with T-Sport in National Class, Karun finished third overall in the final standings, beaten only by champion Ernesto Viso and runner-up Steven Kane.
For 2004, still with T-Sport, Karun moved up to the main F3 series, however, a largely unrewarding season saw him finish fourteenth overall.
That same year, Karun also found time to join fellow-Indian Narain Karthikeyan at Tata sponsored RC Motorsport for two round of the World Series by Nissan championship.
He remained with RC in 2005, contesting a number of rounds of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series. He was also on hand to represent his country in the inaugural season of the A1 GP championship, contesting a number of rounds before the drive was handed to Armaan Ebrahim.
For 2006 Karun returned to Asia, winning the inaugural Formula Asia V6 by Renault Championship, with seven race wins and nine pole positions from twelve races.
At the end of 2006, Karun tested for the Campos Racing GP2 team and it came as no surprise when he entered the series in 2007, albeit with Durango. While it was a largely uninspiring season, the undoubted highlight was Karun's victory in the Sprint Race at Spa - the drivers' circuit.
Late in 2006, Karun got a surprise call from Red Bull, the Indian subsequently carrying out two days of testing for the Austrian outfit at Barcelona. It was an impressive F1 debut for the youngster, who, on the second day, out-paced Jenson Button and Jarno Trulli, among others.
In 2008, Karun contested the main GP2 Series and its Asian counterpart, both with iSport International and both with Bruno Senna as teammate.
In the GP2 Asia Series, Karun finished seventh overall, while in the main series he finished tenth. Other than a win in the Sprint Race at Hockenheim, the Indian scored podium finishes at Silverstone and Monaco.
In addition to being voted as having the 'best driving style' by users of the GP2 series website, Karun ended the year with further prestigious recognition when he was invited to join the British Racing Drivers' Club.
Karun remained in GP2 in 2009, this time with the newly formed Portuguese team, Ocean Racing Technology. While the deal was for the main series, the Indian contested the Bahrain rounds of the Asian version where he replaced Yelmer Buurman. The main series, in which he was partnered by Alvaro Parente, was largely disappointing, with Karun making only one trip to the podium on his way to finishing eighteenth overall.
The son of former racer and president of the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI), Vicky Chandhok, Karun is well connected, and therefore it came as no surprise when he was linked with the Force India F1 team in 2008. Indeed, team owner Vijay Mallya is a family friend. However, to everyone's surprise it was Italian Tonio Liuzzi who got the test seat - and ultimately the race seat - in 2009.
Once Liuzzi had been given the race seat - following Giancarlo Fisichella's departure to Ferrari, it was assumed that Karun would be handed the test role, but it was not to be.
Over the winter of 2009/2010 Chandhok continued to be linked with Force India, however, as things progressed he was also being linked with both US F1 and Campos Meta. With an eye on the vast Indian market, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone was as keen to see Karun on the grid as the youngster himself.
Just when it appeared to be over, at least for 2010, Karun was handed what is surely every racer's dream, a full time F1 drive. In the wake of Jose Ramon Carabante's purchase of the former Campos Meta team, Karun was announced as teammate to (former iSport GP2 teammate Bruno Senna) at Hispania Racing just over a week ahead of the season opener in Bahrain.
However, the 'dream' soon became a nightmare, as the reality of just how badly Hispania was prepared and financed began to sink in.
Due to the fact that his car still wasn't complete, and then suffered a hydraulics failure, Karun's first outing in the car wasn't until the qualifying session in Bahrain. Somehow he managed to post a time, albeit almost 11s off the pace of pole-winner Fernando Alonso.
Sadly the Indian span off after just one lap after hitting a bump, thereby leaving him unable to use the race as a glorified test session.
In Australia he finished fourteenth, albeit five laps down on the leader, followed by further finishes in China, Monaco, Turkey, Canada and Britain.
Thanks to some hard work behind the scenes from Geoff Willis and his team, not to mention some wise strategic calls, the team was able to close to within two laps of the leaders at some circuits by mid-summer.
When Senna was dropped in favour of Sakon Yamamoto at Silverstone it was clear that the financial problems were getting out of control. Sure enough, in Germany Chandhok was dropped in favour of the Japanese driver and his money.
While Senna was only dropped for one race, Karun, despite assurances from the team, was never seen again, save for his commentating outings with the BBC.
In late March 2011, Karun was confirmed as reserve driver for Team Lotus, while Luiz Razia was named as third driver and Davide Valsecchi and Ricardo Teixeira test drivers.
Karun's Lotus career got off to the worst possible start when he crashed on his installation lap in Melbourne, however, undaunted the Malaysian team still allowed him seven further Friday outings over the course of the season.
In a surprise move, Karun participated in the whole of the German Grand Prix weekend when the dropped Jarno Trulli while it attempted to adapt its power steering system to his liking. While Karun did well in qualifying, posting a best time 0.177off Kovalainen's pace, in the race he finished last, two laps down on the Finn.
Though, unlike Narain Karthikeyan at HRT, he didn't get to contest the inaugural Indian Grand Prix, he did take part in the Friday morning practice session, the team opting to run its full line-up in the race rather than jeopardise its place in the championship.
While he has yet to find an F1 role for 2012, even as a reserve driver, he is committed to the new i1 Super Series, also known as Indian Racing League.
A thoroughly likeable guy, as India's F1 prominence grows it will be interesting to see if Karun gets further outings, though at this stage even he admits that this looks unlikely.
Statistics - at the end of 2011 Season
Drivers' Titles: 0
Seasons in F1: 2
Grand Prix: 11
Fastest Laps: 0
Best result in 2011: 20th (Germany)
Best qualifying 2011: 21st (Germany)
Worst qualifying 2011: 21st (Germany)
2011: Out-qualified Heikki Kovalainen 0 times
2011: Out-qualified by Heikki Kovalainen 1 time
2011: Completed 56 out of 60 laps (93.3%)
2011: Finished 1 time from 1 start (100%)