Team Lotus Signs Chandhok as Reserve Driver

Finally, after weeks of speculation of endless talks, Team Lotus has confirmed Karun Chandhok as their new reserve driver for the 2011 season of Formula 1. The Indian racer will therefore join Luiz Razia for the 3rd and reserve driver role at the Norfolk based squad, while GP2 duo Davide Valsecchi and Ricardo Teixeira will continue their commitments as test drivers.

As part of the new deal, Chandhok will drive the Lotus T128 in some of the Friday free practices through the year, beginning with the very first practice session of the Australian Grand Prix.

In addition to his aforementioned commitments, Chandhok will also fulfil an ambassadorial role for the team in the 2011 season of F1. The duration of the contract was not disclosed by the Team Lotus press release.

I’ve been talking to the team for quite a while about a role with them and I’m delighted we’re now able to confirm that I will be driving for Team Lotus in 2011,” said Chandhok in a team statement.

The details of exactly which sessions I will be in the car for are being worked out now and after having spent some time with them at the recent pre-season tests I can see exactly how passionate everyone in Team Lotus is about taking this team back to the top of the F1 grid. These are very exciting times for Team Lotus and it’s a real honour to be able to play a part in helping shape this team’s future.”

Team principal Tony Fernandes also showed his delight over the move, saying that his squad will benefit from Chandhok's one-year experience in Formula 1.

This is another great day for Team Lotus. Karun's appointment to our team gives us not only his immense driving talent and F1 experience, both of which will help us develop the car even further, but also brings one of the warmest, most professional personalities I have the pleasure of knowing into the Team Lotus family.”

I do not think it is going too far to say that Karun represents the future of motor racing – he is living proof that geography is no boundary to talent and ambition and that you will succeed if you work hard and keep dreaming. He is fiercely proud of his Indian heritage but he has a truly global outlook and I am honoured that Team Lotus is now giving one of India’s brightest stars the chance to continue to develop his talent.”
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