Team Lotus has confirmed that third driver Karun Chandhok will not be driving in the inaugural Indian GP on 30th October. The Indian has been performing duties in free practice sessions over the season barring a single outing in Germany when he replaced Jarno Trulli, the veteran also been expected to make way for Chandhok in India. But he will keep his seat along with his teammate Heikki Kovalainen.
Team principal Tony Fernandez commented, “From the team perspective the key goal for us this weekend is to maintain the performance levels we saw in the last two races and while I am sure there will be fans in India who want to see Karun race for us on Sunday we had to make the best decision for the future of the team.”
“While all the emotional reasons for him driving were right we were conscious that the limited running he has had in the car this season, largely due to the weather conditions that have hit most of his FP1 sessions, has not given him the best preparation for this race, so we have taken the very difficult decision not to run him in this weekend”, he further substantiated.
Team Lotus are understood not to want to make any major changes as they target tenth place in the constructor standings, which brings a guaranteed increased income (governed by the Concorde agreement) as well as other privileges like the size of motor homes and garage space.
Chandhok will assume his duties in the first free practice on Friday though – “I am very excited about driving at the new Buddh International Circuit in FP1 in front of my home crowd and while I am obviously disappointed that I won’t have the chance to race on Sunday, I accept the team’s decision to opt for the experience and talent they have at their disposal with Jarno and Heikki.”
“This is a team that is still young, still growing, and I know that they have to do their best to secure their future in the sport.”
“I understand that this isn't about me. It's about the team and everything the 254 people on track and back at the factory are doing to build for the future”, he added.