Chandhok in line for Lotus reserve role

By on Sunday, January 23, 2011

Chandhok has got friendly with Lotus before...

Karun Chandhok has hinted he is close to signing up as reserve driver with Team Lotus for 2011.

The Indian driver made his F1 debut with HRT last year but sponsorship issues meant he was dropped mid-season.

The PTI press agency quoted Chandhok, who turned 27 this month, as suggesting the move to Tony Fernandes’ Malaysian team will be “a step up” for him.

“I like the idea of building an Asian team with Asian drivers, mechanics, engineers, PR and marketing people,” he said.

“Tony Fernandes is trying hard and that’s what he has done with his (airline) Air Asia as well,” added Chandhok during a visit to his native India.

He clarified that he has not signed a contract yet.

“Nothing is final until you have a contract in your hands. It will take about two-three weeks to know. They are maybe talking to 20 more guys other than me,” said Chandhok.

He said he is aiming for a long-term deal in his bid to return to the racing grid.

“I want to be involved in the medium term for two-three years. It would allow to build the partnership, to grow together. Stability is what I am looking for. I will get to learn (in 2011) even if I drive on just Fridays,” added Chandhok.

A deal with Team Lotus would also result in a GP2 seat for Chandhok with Air Asia, owned by Tony Fernandes. This enables the team to gain more tyre data as GP2 will run the same Pirelli tyres as F1.

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