Chandhok 'mentally prepared' as reserve driver
21 December 2011 – Karun Chandhok admits that he is preparing himself for another season as a Formula 1 reserve driver, having been unable to find a fresh race seat. The Indian, who made a brief return with Team Lotus at this year’s German Grand Prix, is yet to race in F1 full-time since losing his HRT place in the middle of the 2010 season.
After debuting with the team then known as Hispania, Chandhok was dropped after Silverstone before failing to impress when taking the reigns of Jarno Trulli’s Lotus for a single outing at the Nürburgring earlier this season. With only HRT and Williams vacancies now remaining for 2012, the Indian is staying realistic.
“I am mentally preparing myself to continue as a test driver for another season,” the 27-year-old told India’s PTI news agency. “As of now, most of the teams have announced their list of drivers for the 2012 season and there are only two (more) slots up for grabs; so situation is a bit difficult but I am ready to work hard.”
Furthermore, the Chennai man admits that returning to F1 at all is a big ask.
“Now the F1 teams are also looking at drivers who can essentially bring them good sponsorship money – it is indeed a tough situation,” he summed up.
Narain Karthikeyan, India’s only other F1 driver, has also been left on the sidelines.