Chandhok returns to F1 in Trulli’s place in Germany

2011 F1 season

Karun Chandhok, Lotus, Valencia, 2011

Karun Chandhok, Lotus, Valencia, 2011

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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89 comments on Chandhok returns to F1 in Trulli’s place in Germany

  1. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 21st July 2011, 11:31

    “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.”

    Am I the only one who sees a dig at Vijay Mallya in there?

  2. Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 21st July 2011, 11:57

    So I guess no more power-steering problems. Good for Chandhok and good for Lotus.

  3. Lord Ha Ha said on 21st July 2011, 12:05

    Worst thing for Fernandez would be for Chandhok to get into the car in India and embarrass all concerned like he has already at times in his few practice laps

  4. Adrian Morse said on 21st July 2011, 12:07

    Given Karun’s blistering pace on Friday mornings, this move comes as no surprise.

    Seriously though, I do not get all the positive reactions from my fellow F1Fanatics. My first reactions to the news were shock and disgust, perhaps even more so with Trulli piping the “I am happy to support Karun” tune. If he really is happy to hand his car over, then what the hell is he still doing in F1.

    As for Team Lotus, putting a pay driver in your car for FP1 is one thing, but for a whole weekend? And aren’t there better pay drivers out there? Sure, Karun is a nice guy and a knowledgable F1 fan, but if that is the criterion, then Tony Fernandes might just as well take a look around the F1Fanatic site and see if there are any particularly funny and lucid F1Fanatics around.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 21st July 2011, 13:02

      <blockquote.Given Karun’s blistering pace on Friday mornings, this move comes as no surprise.
      Yes, he found the wall very quickly in Melbourne …

      • Frederick said on 21st July 2011, 14:05

        apart from the aussie wall incident, he’s mostly just had bad luck. A mechanical failure in.. valencia, I think? and a useless wet session in silverstone.

  5. Dan Selby said on 21st July 2011, 12:27

    I think I look at it more like this:

    Karun’s going to be driving in India. It makes no sense (from a business POV) to NOT put him in there for that. Whether we agree with that on a talent perspective is a complete side-issue in this day and age of F1.

    Karun’s had little to no time in that car (for reasons he can only blame on himself in some cases, admittedly), so he needs some true preparation for that race. Sure, it’d be good to just field an Indian at the Indian GP. But why not try and add a bit of competitiveness to that?

    It’s the first Indian GP, it’s a new track. We may have incidents/some unknown quantities. Who knows, some race prep for Karun could be the difference between loitering in the midfield or perhaps scoring an extremely valuable point…

  6. Alex Bkk (@alex-bkk) said on 21st July 2011, 12:33

    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.

    Details: Take what we offer you or go race trucks… :P

  7. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 21st July 2011, 13:08

    Chandhok cannot afford to finish behind any of the Virgins or HRTs on Sunday. Chances like this after being shoved aside by a team like HRT are few and far to come by. I am extremely glad and hope he does well.

  8. PJA said on 21st July 2011, 13:37

    Although Trulli hasn’t performed that well this season the news is still a surprise, especially as Lotus say they are still negotiating a contract extension with Trulli.

  9. Andy said on 21st July 2011, 13:59

    Chandok is rubbish! He’s gonna wreck his car in free practice again!

  10. Scribe (@scribe) said on 21st July 2011, 15:29

    Meh, this is just to make his India race seat look midly less pandering and slightly less bonkers.

  11. Scuderia Britalia Racing - Lucas "Mr. Veloce" said on 21st July 2011, 20:27

    I really do think and want Chandhok will replace Trulli next year and Jarno will go race at Le Mans and make his wine. I hope Team Lotus give Karun a drive for the Indian Grand Prix. Karun is a very promising young driver and he deserves a chance, I just think Jarno has had his time in Formula One. I bet nothing will make Indian fans happier than to see both Chandhok and Karthikeyan (Who WILL be returning to the Hispania in India) at the inagural Indian Grand Prix.

  12. Bullfrog said on 21st July 2011, 21:01

    Well that’s one way of resolving the power steering problem. Maybe Trulli will do the straight-line testing now. Don’t need to steer for that! But this is no way for Jarno’s F1 career to end, I hope he gets more races in a competitive car before he’s done.

    Great for Karun, he’s been almost as good at PR for Lotus as Kovalainen and Tony Fernandes. And he’ll be better prepared for this race than any of his adventures with Hispania last year.

    Often one team changes a driver (Ricciardo) and then others follow. How long before Hulkenberg gets a race too?

  13. So one of the nicest but slowest drivers is being replaced by one of the nicest but slowest drivers…what’s in it for Lotus exactly?

  14. shadow13 (@shadow13) said on 21st July 2011, 21:47

    I agree Bullfrog, Jarno Trulli is a great driver and it would be a real shame to see him go out like this. I really hope he remains in the car for the rest of the season. Hopefully the power steering issue will be resolved by Hungary, and Trulli can start levelling that qualifying battle with Kovalainen. In my view Trulli could have been an amazing driver if he had ever had a properly competitive car. I think if Lotus use Chandhok instead of him for the rest of the season then they are fools. In my opinion he’s a lot better at talking than driving. Unfortunately drivers seem to be valued more on their PR answers than their driving. After all 2 amazing drivers Montoya and Raikkonen got pushed out because they didn’t say the right things in interviews. It would be a shame to see it work the other way and have drivers employed because they’re good at smiling at a camera. I know this is a bit of a rant but Trulli has always been my favourite driver and I hate the way he seems to be being slowly pushed out of F1. Shame on Lotus.

  15. TED BELL said on 22nd July 2011, 1:28

    The car isn’t competetive. It doesn’t matter who is in the seat, Senna, Piquet Jr.or Oprah ?? Nobody will accomplish a hill of beans with this car at this time.

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