• HRT news

Funding leaves Chandhok seat in doubt

ESPNF1 Staff
June 13, 2010 « Hamilton fined and reprimanded for running out of fuel | »
Karun Chandhok: 'There are people who want to get involved but are sitting on the fence' © Sutton Images
Related Links

Karun Chandhok's seat at HRT could be under threat as a result of his sponsorship not materialising.

Chandhok secured the drive with HRT after he brought with him up to $5 million of backing, which was vital to the cash-strapped newcomers. But it seems his backers have not been able to deliver as promised, forcing HRT to look around for alternatives.

Chandhok acknowledged in Montreal that the Indian corporate world has not fully backed him, while angling for a Force India seat "at some point in my career".

"I've been chasing [Indian] sponsors for years in GP2 and Formula Three and stuff, and there are people who want to get involved but are sitting on the fence," Chandhok admitted. He said sponsors have been divided over whether to back an Indian driver or the Force India team.

The Hindustan Times reported HRT's boss, Colin Kolles, was in talks with potential replacements. Former Midland and Spyker racer Christijan Albers may be one potential candidate. He has F1 experience and has driven for Kolles' F1, DTM and Le Mans teams.

Albers, 31, said earlier this week that he might soon return to F1 "with the help of my loyal sponsors. I have a partner that just might give that final push".

Referring to 'sources', the Hindustan Times said Narain Karthikeyan and Pastor Maldonado, and HRT third driver Sakon Yamamoto, might also be in the running for Chandhok's drive.

Chandhok's influential father, the high-ranking Indian motor racing official Vicky Chandhok, is in Montreal this weekend.