Karun Chandhok has been given a seat by Team Lotus for the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring this weekend. Jarno Trulli has made way for the young Indian after a string of poor performances. Despite being renowned for being one of F1’s fastest qualifiers, Trulli has been bested by team-mate Heikki Kovalainen repeatedly this season.
Team Lotus is a race team dedicated to nurturing young driver talent; an ethos that Trulli appreciates – the Italian showed no grievances when asked about his feelings on being replaced, “I’m looking forward to working with Karun this weekend and doing whatever I can to help him get the most out of his opportunity in Germany”.
Chandhok will be the only Indian on the grid at Germany, as HRT’s Narain Karthikeyan
recently made way for Red Bull hopeful Daniel Ricciardo. My worry is that not having competitively raced since Silverstone 2010, will Chandhok be able to re-acquaint himself in time to be competitive.
To prevent the slower back markers causing hold-ups for the championship contenders, the FIA created a ruling that all drivers must qualify within 107% of the pole-position driver. Although Lotus’ dedication to nurturing young talent is commendable, it’s risky – and could land them with 50% less car on the grid come Sunday afternoon.
“I have not had much running in the car and my aim will be to get more comfortable with the car and add as much value as I can to the team”, Chandhok said.
Lotus announced improved steering ahead of the German GP, an issue Trulli struggled with in the the T128. With the steering problems resolved, Lotus may have been too hasty to bench their veteran driver.
Trulli is confirmed to regain his seat for Round 11’s Hungarian GP. Chandhok is also expected to race at the debuting Indian GP later this year, although which driver he is likely to replace for the event is unconfirmed.