Chandhok will not race in Indian Grand Prix

2011 Indian Grand Prix

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

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

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

  2. Mr Muttley said on 25th October 2011, 11:38

    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.

  3. vikz22 said on 25th October 2011, 11:39

    thats devastating :(

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

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

  5. BearMan said on 25th October 2011, 11:45

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

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 25th October 2011, 11:50

      Bruno is no better than Chandok

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

      • BearMan said on 25th October 2011, 12:01

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

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 25th October 2011, 12:06

          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?

  6. silencer (@silencer) said on 25th October 2011, 11:45

    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.

    • javlinsharp (@javlinsharp) said on 25th October 2011, 19:55

      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.

  7. R Winslet said on 25th October 2011, 11:48

    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.

  8. dizlexik said on 25th October 2011, 11:50

    Good news. Why should Team Lotus act like HRT?

    • team extreme said on 25th October 2011, 11:53

      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).

      • R Winslet said on 25th October 2011, 11:55

        How many times has Trulli binned it this year then?

      • javlinsharp (@javlinsharp) said on 25th October 2011, 20:02

        @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.

  9. mac_jim said on 25th October 2011, 11:51

    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?

  10. da1seggy said on 25th October 2011, 11:56

    I don’t like the way teams change driver from race to race.

    At the start of each season, they should have to declare their two drivers & two reserves, and only be able to change in the event of injury.

    There should be some stipulation that if you do change driver (i.e., promote the reserve) for non-injury related reasons, he has to remain driver until the mid-season break (or to the end of the season if after the break) – almost like substitutions in football – once you pull him out, you can’t just change your mind again.

    • John Snakes F1 said on 25th October 2011, 12:19

      While you are right, Chandhok’s case at Team Lotus is a bit different. He’s been driving regularly on Friday for the team, he even did a complete weekend in Germany. What’s the point of all that if in the end they decide not to make him race in his own country in India? The team’s decision is absolutely logical as it’s based on performance grounds, and we all know Chandhok is not worthy of an F1 seat. But then, why do they continue to put him in the car in FP1?

      I feel sorry for him, it would have been nice for India to have him on the grid, even if he was going to be trashed again by Kovalainen.

      • Racing Galore said on 25th October 2011, 14:26

        Because he’s paying for those FP1 sessions, something that was decided at the beginning of the year. Indian GP drive was a part of the package too but maybe his sponsors came up short. That’s the only explanation.

  11. Chris Amon Fan said on 25th October 2011, 11:57

    Feeling sorry for the guy even if I don’t think he is anything special. And although Trulli is also not much more than a journeyman nowadays I think it’s better to keep him in that seat.

    That said I hope 2012 will be Trulli’s last season. I wished him to retire this season already.

    Well the Indians still have Narain to cheer on I guess…
    Narain might be awful now, I remember he showed good promise at Jordan until Monteiro got his act together.

  12. sesku S said on 25th October 2011, 12:11

    A driver get a racing seat just because of his nationality and not because of his talent is such a disgrace to F1 which claimed to be the pinnacle of motorsport. If that the case, then we should have Ho-Ping Tung in Chinese GP, Fairuz Fauzy in Malaysia GP, Sakon Yamamoto in Japan GP. If Karun Chandok really that good he should be driving for a much better team right now, not moaning on his missed chance of racing at his own country.

  13. gabal (@gabal) said on 25th October 2011, 12:21

    Joe Saward’s take on the Chandhok decision. He also breaks down precisely how much is 10th place worth more over 11th.

  14. 130R (@130r) said on 25th October 2011, 12:27

    Good move by the team, Chandhok is a nice guy, but not good enough for F1 as seen at the Nurburgring GP.

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