Chandhok Eyeing Team Lotus Friday Driver Role

Karun Chandhok might return to Formula One racing for the 2011 season, but not as an official race driver. According to the PTI press agency, it seems that the Indian driver is very close to landing a reserve driver deal with Tony Fernandes' Team Lotus.

I like the idea of building an Asian team with Asian drivers, mechanics, engineers, PR and marketing people,” Chandhok was quoted as saying by the aforementioned press agency. “Tony Fernandes is trying hard and that's what he has done with his (airline) Air Asia as well,” he added.

The 27-year old debuted in F1 last year for the struggling Hispania Racing F1 Team, but only managed to remain in the cockpit for the first part of the season. Due to financial issues – he ran out of sponsorship money – the Indian was replaced by Japanese driver Sakon Yamamoto and has been trying to figure out his future in the series ever since.

A former GP2 graduate, Chandhok insisted however that no contract has been signed with Team Lotus. Additionally, he made it very clear that what he is seeking is a long term deal, not a temporary job to keep his F1 career alive.

Nothing is final until you have a contract in your hands. It will take about two-three weeks to know. They are maybe talking to 20 more guys other than me.”

I want to be involved in the medium term for two-three years. It would allow to build the partnership, to grow together. Stability is what I am looking for. I will get to learn (in 2011) even if I drive on just Fridays,” added the Indian driver.
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