Chandhok drops hints of joining Lotus
Noida: Indian racing ace Karun Chandhok is keen on joining Malaysian outfit Lotus Racing for the 2011 season so that he can contribute in Asia’s emergence as a force in the “West dominated” Formula One circuit.
Chandhok, who made his F1 debut with Hispania Racing in 2010 before being dropped midway, does not consider it a setback to his F1 career even if he joins the Malaysian team as a reserve and test driver.
“I think it will be a step up. By racing last year I have got a foot in the door and now I don’t need to look for that anymore. I like the idea of building an Asian team with Asian drivers, mechanics, engineers, PR and marketing people,” Chandhok, India’s only second F1 driver, said.
“It (F1) is dominated by West so far. We have the brain power but not experience. Just want to show Asia is capable. Tony Frenandes is trying hard and that’s what he has done with his Air Asia as well,” Chandhok, who was here to witness Amaron Karting Championship season-3, said.
Lotus were new entrants on the F1 circuit last year along with Hispania and Virgin racing.
The Chennai racer, though, said it will take about 15 days to know if he has sealed the reserve driver seat, which fell vacant after local boy Fairuz Fauzy quit the team.
“Nothing is final until you have contract in your hands. Either you have it or not. It will take about two-three weeks to know. They maybe talking to 20 more guys other than me.”
Asked what he is looking at before signing on the dotted line, Chandhok said,” I want to be involved in medium term for two three years. It would allow to build the partnership, to grow together. Stability is what I am looking for.”
Chandhok said he does not mind accepting the reserve driver’s role and will not be heartbroken, if he does not get to race in 2011 season.
“The perspective changes in 12 months. I have earned the respect of people, who said I did well in difficult circumstances (with Hispania). I am looking at long-term goal not only for 2011 but for 2012 as well.”
“I will get to learn even if I race on just Fridays. That’s what Paul de Rista did for Force India. Stability is must in F1 like in any other sport,” he said.
Chandhok also said that he is not disappointed at being dropped by Hispania, who recently signed another Indian Narain Karthikeyan for the 2011 season.
“They are a new team and had to look at various aspects. It’s difficult to get sponsorships and they had to take certain decision.”
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