2011 F1 season
Karun Chandhok will race in place of Jarno Trulli at this weekend’s German Grand Prix, Lotus have confirmed.
Chandhok has already made four appearances for the team this year in first practice sessions.
He said: “Firstly I want to thank Tony Fernandes, Kamarudin Meranun and SM Nasarudin for giving me the chance to race this weekend for Team Lotus.
“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.
“Whatever happens, I am very excited about lining up on the grid on Sunday and I know there will be millions of Indian fans, and Team Lotus fans around the world, who will be behind me and the whole team, so I will do the best I can to give them something to cheer for.”
It marks a return to racing for Chandhok who last competed in the British Grand Prix for HRT in 2010.
Lotus team principal Tony Fernandes indicated his continued faith in Trulli, and said the team were looking into extending his contract:
“[Trulli] 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.”
Fernandes said of Chandhok: “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 world 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.”
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