HRT replace Indian driver Narain Karthikeyan with Australian Daniel Ricciardo for the upcoming Silverstone GP.
|Chandhok gets the nod ahead of German GP although Team Lotus look to extend Trulli’s contract [GALLO/GETTY]|
India’s Karun Chandhok will replace Jarno Trulli for Team Lotus at this weekend’s German Grand Prix, team principal Tony Fernandes confirmed on Thursday.
“As a young Asian driver Karun faces even more obstacles to achieving his goals than his counterparts from the established motorsport homelands in the West, both from inside and outside F1, and I am very proud to be able to give him this chance on merit,” said Fernandes.
Chandhok raced for fellow strugglers Hispania for the first half of last season and was named Team Lotus reserve for this campaign behind Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen.
“Looks like the news is out 🙂 ! Very happy and big thanks to Tony Fernandes and Team Lotus for the opportunity!,” the 27-year-old wrote on Twitter page.
“As a young Asian driver Karun faces even more obstacles to achieving his goals than his counterparts from the established motorsport homelands in the West”
Team Lotus principal Tony Fernandes
There was no word on whether the change halfway through the year was just for one race but Trulli need not be too downbeat with a new deal on the way.
“I also want to take this chance to thank Jarno for helping make Karun’s opportunity this weekend possible,” Fernandes continued.
“He has been extremely accommodating in stepping to the side for this race and our commitment to him is unwavering. I am delighted to confirm that we are in the process of negotiating an extension to his contract with us.”
Force India owner Vijay Mallya told Reuters this month he was upset by home fans bemoaning his lack of an Indian driver.
Before Silverstone, India’s Narain Karthikeyan was replaced by Australian Daniel Ricciardo by Formula One tail-enders Hispania.
India is due to host its first Formula One race in October and commercial possibilities there are huge for teams.
With Karthikeyan set to return to his seat at Hispania for the Indian Grand Prix, there could possibly be two Indian drivers for the home crowd to cheer on.