• German Grand Prix

Germany was a learning experience - Chandhok

ESPNF1 Staff
July 25, 2011 « Rosberg ready for 100th race | »
Karun Chandhok at the start of the race © Sutton Images

Karun Chandhok has admitted his Lotus debut at the German Grand Prix was far from perfect, but said he learnt a lot after completing his first full race distance since the British Grand Prix last year.

Chandhok got a "one-off" race drive with Lotus at the Nurburgring, replacing Jarno Trulli who will be back in the cockpit of the T128 in Hungary next weekend . The Indian came into the weekend with minimal experience in the car and wasn't helped by the unusually cold conditions that the Lotus has struggled with since the start of the season.

But despite two mistakes over the course of the race, which left him last of the finishers, Chandhok said the experience had allowed him to better understand this year's Pirelli tyres.

"That's a full race distance completed and an awful lot of learning under my belt," he said. "Honestly, that probably wasn't the race I wanted -I had a couple of high speed spins and I think I need more time to get used to the tyres. When they start to go off there's very little give compared to last year's rubber, but that's all part of the learning process and I'm glad I got the car home and did the best job I could."

Chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne said Chandhok had made progress.

"Karun acquitted himself pretty well, despite having a couple of moments he got on with the job and has definitely learnt a lot from his time in the car here this weekend," he said. "The whole team has worked very hard to make sure we could have a two car finish, so well done to them and now we can move straight on to Hungary where the aim will be the same - progress little by little and keep moving forward."

Team principal Tony Fernandes said this weekend had always been about giving Chandhok some experience in the cockpit, which is hard to come by with the ban on in-season testing.

"The main aim today was to bring two cars home and to make sure Karun could learn as much as possible over a full race distance," he said. "It is good that he finished the full 60 laps and showed some reasonable pace."

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