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Chandhok waits on India drive

ESPNF1 Staff
September 14, 2011 « Montezemolo lists F1 gripes | »
Karun Chandhok is hoping to be in the car for the full weekend in India © Sutton Images

Karun Chandhok says he must wait to find out if he will be driving for Lotus in the inaugural Indian Grand Prix, after Tony Fernandes said he wanted him to replace Jarno Trulli.

Chandhok replaced Trulli at the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring in July as Lotus looked to give him more time and experience in the car. After Trulli signed a new contract to stay with the team for 2012, Fernandes said he would like Chandhok to drive in India but that it was up to the team to decide on the driver line-up. Chandhok said he would have to wait to find out, but that he was eager to drive at the circuit having been heavily involved in its development.

"It's obviously very nice to hear," Chandhok told CNN. "He (Fernandes) is the man who can make it happen. I've just got to wait and see what he decides. As a racing driver, the most emotional race is certainly your home grand prix. If I do get the opportunity to do it, it'll be fantastic, but as this moment it's a question only Tony can answer.

"To be an Indian driver on the grid for the first Indian Grand Prix would be magic. I've been very involved in the circuit, I've been visiting the (Buddh circuit) site every month. To have the opportunity to drive would sort of complete that circle."

Chandhok admitted that it was an awkward situation having replaced Trulli in Germany and now having Fernandes saying he would like to see the switch happen again, but that he had experience from his season at HRT.

"It's not ideal, there's no doubt about that. I experienced it last year; my drive was given to Sakon Yamamoto in the second half of the season. It's tough. When they put me in the car in Germany ... it's a very difficult situation. It can be awkward. But I have to say Jarno was fantastic. He offered his advice and support all through the weekend. I have to say hats off to him, he was a model professional."

Looking more long-term, Chandhok said he needed to speak to Fernandes about his future opportunities, which look limited in 2012 following Trulli's new deal.

"I need to sit and figure things out with Tony and where we are and where we see the future. I'd like to stay with Tony, with Lotus, and in the future race for them full time. That's my ambition."