JULY 21, 2011
Chandhok gets German GP chance, replacing Trulli
Karun Chandhok, who has done four Friday test sessions for Lotus this season, will replace Jarno Trulli for the German GP weekend.
Trulli has struggled with the car's power steering system this year, saying that it does not give sufficient feedback and it is expected that a solution to aid Trulli's problems will be tried at next week's Hungarian GP. Lotus has stressed, however, that it is committed to Trulli long term and is currently negotiating a contract extension with him.
The 27-year-old Chandhok made his F1 debut with HRT last season, and did the first half of the season alongside Bruno Senna before Sakon Yamamoto brought money for the seat in the second half of the year. Team Principal Tony Fernandes said: "I am looking forward to my first visit to the German GP even more now we have announced that Karun will be competing in his first full race weekend for Team Lotus. Ever since I first met Karun I have been impressed with his whole demeanour - he is talented, passionate, committed and he brings great energy to the whole team, so I am delighted that we are giving him the chance to add even more value to us in the cockpit over a whole race weekend.
"One of the key goals of Team Lotus is to provide a stepladder to the top of motorsport for talent from all over the world and we have been true to that philosophy since the first days of the team. For Formula 1 to continue to develop globally we need to keep creating new opportunities for talent from around the world to reach the top and Team Lotus will continue to do its best to support that.
"As a young Asian driver Karun faces even more obstacles to achieving his goals than his counterparts from the established motorsport homelands in the West, both from inside and outside F1, and I am very proud to be able to give him this chance on merit. I also want to take this chance to thank Jarno for helping make Karun's opportunity this weekend possible. He has been extremely accommodating in stepping to the side for this race and our commitment to him is unwavering. I am delighted to confirm that we are in the process of negotiating an extension to his contract with us and we are all looking forward to unveiling the details of that very soon. He is a key member of our team and I hope that we can give him a car as soon as possible that allows him to utilise his considerable talent to the full."
Chandhok added: "Ever since I first joined the team I have been looking forward to this opportunity and I am determined to do my best to repay their faith in me and help the team progress, this season and for many years to come. I am approaching the weekend in a very realistic frame of mind. I will be doing my best to push and to make sure I learn as much as possible all weekend, take each session as it comes and work as closely as I can with the engineers and the whole team to do the best job I can."
Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne said: "Jarno will be stepping aside for Karun for this race and we will use Karun's feedback over the weekend as a comparison against Jarno's and Heikki's experiences this season with a number of aspects of the car, including the power steering system."
Depending on the success of Chandhok's German weekend, it is thought likely that he may get another chance at his home GP, the inaugural Indian GP at the end of October.