Karun Chandhok, Lotus, Nurburgring, 2011

Chandhok will not race in Indian Grand Prix

2011 Indian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Karun Chandhok, Lotus, Nurburgring, 2011
Chandhok raced for Lotus at the Nurburgring

Karun Chandhok will not race in the Indian Grand Prix, Lotus have confirmed.

The Indian driver will participate in the first practice session of the race weekend.

Chandhok said: “I am very excited about driving at the new Buddh International Circuit in first practice in front of my home crowd and while I am obviously disappointed that I won?t have the chance to race on Sunday, I accept the team?s decision to opt for the experience and talent they have at their disposal with Jarno [Trulli] and Heikki [Kovalainen].

“This is a team that is still young, still growing, and I know that they have to do their best to secure their future in the sport ?ǣ sometimes the hard decisions have to be made, and in this case it must have been a very difficult choice, but I understand that this isn?t about me.

“It?s about the team and everything the 254 people on track and back at the factory are doing to build for the future. For me, I believe that I have grown as a driver in and out of the car this year with my role in the Friday practice sessions and I?m looking forward to playing my part in helping the team have another strong weekend on track.”

Team principal Tony Fernandes said: “From the team perspective the key goal for us this weekend is to maintain the performance levels we saw in the last two races and while I am sure there will be fans in India who want to see Karun race for us on Sunday we had to make the best decision for the future of the team.

“While all the emotional reasons for him driving were right we were conscious that the limited running he has had in the car this season, largely due to the weather conditions that have hit most of his first practice sessions, has not given him the best preparation for this race, so we have taken the very difficult decision not to run him in the race this weekend.

“It is absolutely vital that we secure tenth place in 2011 to give us the platform to keep growing and despite the fact that Karun’s performance levels have continued to improve every time he has driven for us in 2011, it was considered too much pressure to put on Karun to drive in his first home race, deal with all the attention he would have had and be able to perform at the same level as either of our regular race drivers over the whole weekend.

“For that reason we had to take the pragmatic decision to put our faith in the experience and pace we have in Jarno and Heikki, and are confident they will continue to perform at the level they have over the last two years with us.

“While this is obviously not the decision Karun wanted us to take he understands that we have to take the long-term view and do so in the best interests of the team. He also understands that his relationship with our team is not about just one race, it is about growing together and while this is an historic event, there will be many opportunities to race in India in the future, and he is in the best possible place with us to take advantage of those chances in seasons to come.”

Chandhok has raced for the team once this year, in the German Grand Prix.

HRT have already confirmed Narain Karthikeyan will compete in the race, taking Vitantonio Liuzzi’s place in the team.

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151 comments on “Chandhok will not race in Indian Grand Prix”

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  1. ‘Team’, Chandhok running in India is a great result for ‘Team Lotus’. No first time indian viewer to F1 is going to ask ‘where are all the Italian and Finnish drivers?’.

  2. Seems a good moment to recall the results of this:

    Should Chandhok and Karthikeyan race in India?

    61% wanted Chandhok in
    36% wanted Karthikeyan in
    24% wanted neither

    1. That doesn’t add up does it!

      1. It does. My mistake #settheoryfail

  3. Tony Kumaramangalam
    25th October 2011, 11:07

    Karun shouldn’t be too disappointed. I mean nobody wants to drive for this FAKE Lotus dream. He should immediately contact Ron Dennis or Luca Di Montezemolo and request for a test drive with them. I am sure they will oblige. Its better to test drive the mp4-12c or 458 that be a tester for this FAKE Lotus team.

  4. I like Chandhok, he seems a nice guy. Giving him a chance at Lotus won’t change the outcome of the race, so it seemed appropiate to give the Indians another driver to cheer.

    But to be honest, it’s hard to disagree with Lotus’ decision. Why would they put Chandhok instead of Trulli or Kovalainen really? It’d just be a move to improve the image of the team in India, gain sponsors or whatever.

  5. Wont be surprised if there are a few boos for Team Lotus come Quali and Race, but its a team decision though.

  6. Nothing to do with performance. Has to be money.

    Surely a brand new track is the ideal place to run an inexperienced driver, puts them on a more level playing field?

    1. I would rather understand this from the other perspective. GP race in the very new venue often creates havoc/s. In order to go around the condition it is wiser to count on experience that will help understand the situation and take an advantage from it. Look at Korea the last year, it was raining like mad, this time around on new asphalt but it is very dusty. Tricky condition like this should be a chance for team like Team Lotus to salvage a point or two. Two car running in good team coordination should make this probability higher.

      This is not money related issue.

  7. I think his German GP performance turned it and spoiled his chances. When he was given a chance to drive in Germany, it was clear that they wanted someone new in place of Jarno, but his race performance was bad enough for them to back track that thought.

  8. Not sure if it only about Chandok’s performance. the team need to up their game to higher level, for this a lot of feed backs are necessary, and for that the experiences count more than rookie’s speed. The team is aiming to tune the technology, strategy and the race in one and that is a bigger work than Cnadok’s race performance in Germany. But Chandok is building up his presence in the paddock and knowing the scene, so it will sure does something for him. He can be hungry for taking chances to come… my 2 cents tho.

  9. They aren’t really racing for anything so the only reason has to be his very poor performance at Germany.

    1. they are racing for tenth, and more to come… They want to beat Sauber, Williams and the likes, it is not an easy outing.

  10. Just look at his reaction to all this. That a lone deserves a drive, I’d of flipped out. Feel for the lad! He may not be the best driver around but he sure knows how to handle himself out of the car.

  11. Distortion DS-2
    25th October 2011, 11:37

    I’m pretty sure Karun would be able to use the power steering better than Trulli

  12. I think they should have given him a drive. so on that basis I hope Trulli has a little off in the first corner and bins his car.

  13. thats devastating :(

    it would have been brilliant for him to have raced his home GP, better luck next year i suppose

  14. Maybe this is why Turkey never took off as a grand prix. Someone should have given Can Artam or Jason Tahincioglu a pity seat.

  15. Bruno is no better than Chandok, yet he gets to drive a Renault because of his famous uncle. Clearly double standards.

    1. Bruno is no better than Chandok

      Their time as team mates at iSport and HRT says otherwise.

      1. Ok, its your ranking, not official FIA ranking. That doesn’t prove anything. I am convinced Bruno is a mediocre pilot.

        1. not official FIA ranking

          You might want to check the 2008 GP2 championship standings.

          In 2010 their championship ranking was largely decided by how many other cars finished the races. As I said at the time, it looked to me like Senna was the better driver – an observation borne out by the fact that it wasn’t Senna who lost his drive halfway through the season.

          You obviously think otherwise, perhaps you could explain why?

  16. I just don’t understand; why after such heart breaking moment for motorsport in the last couple of weeks; some people still wish for bad thing to happen to either Trulli or Heikki just because Karun didn’t get a chance to race in front of his own people.

    1. Im with you there @silencer… Ive learned in my life that most people with never miss an opportunity to exhibit low class behavior.

      Indeed, I really dont know why there is so much outcry here.
      Karun is a Reserve driver, nobody said a word when he didnt race in Korea, or Sepang. Whats the difference now?

      This is one race, they didnt fire him, they didnt take away his birthday, they simply changed their minds for the good of the team OF WHICH HE IS A MEMBER. Po Po baby, somebody send him a blanket and teddy bear.

  17. Good news in my book, he doesn’t deserve it. Being Indian and a nice bloke doesn’t change the fact that he’s been mediocre at best throughout his career.

  18. Good news. Why should Team Lotus act like HRT?

    1. Because they can get more sponsorship money by racing Chandhok than Trulli? And the 10th place in the championship won’t be affected when Trulli bins the car (again).

      1. How many times has Trulli binned it this year then?

      2. @team extreme

        Because they can get more sponsorship money by racing Chandhok than Trulli

        Wow man, Sounds like you have detailed information about the specific terms and conditions of the Sponsorship arrangements at Lotus. Quit holding out on us and share the juicy details.

        Unless of course, you are simply making assumptions and presenting them as facts.

  19. 10th in the WCC is worth a lot of money to the team. Let’s face it Chandhok has hardly proven himself in the races this year has he?

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