Chandhok in for Trulli

Karun Chandhok will race at the German Grand Prix, in place of regular driver Jarno Trulli.

“Ever since I first met Karun I have been impressed with his whole demeanour – he is talented, passionate, committed and he brings great energy to the whole team,” said Tony Fernandes. “I am delighted that we are giving him the chance to add even more value to us in the cockpit over a whole race weekend. One of the key goals of Team Lotus is to provide a stepladder to the top of world motorsport for talent from all over the world and we have been true to that philosophy since the first days of the team. For Formula 1 to continue to develop globally we need to keep creating new opportunities for talent from around the world to reach the top and Team Lotus will continue to do its best to support that. 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.

“I also want to take this chance to thank Jarno for helping make Karun’s opportunity this weekend possible. 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 and we are all looking forward to unveiling the details of that very soon.”

29 thoughts on “Chandhok in for Trulli

  1. Great for Karun as I think he is currently the most talented Indian driver. Also very nice of Tony and Jarno to announce this normally and not dream up a cold, neck injury or an unfortunate bout of bubonic plague. Wish more teams were this honest.

  2. Is it possible that the contract extension would involve a development driver / team consultant role rather than a race seat? Jarno hasn’t exactly seemed like the happiest or motivated of chaps lately.

  3. Money talks baby…..
    Why else is he getting to drive.
    Contract extensions for trulli you say- hmmm hes not been very convincing this season are they sure they want to do that?

  4. Great news for Karun,

    Irrespective of the press release this must spell the beginning of the end for Jarno’s F1 career. I guess this is a trial run for India and for a race seat next year.

  5. Finally, sense prevails. Heikki has shown him up this year, and this whining about power steering doesn’t help. Hopefully Trulli will go and make wine and enjoy life in Italy next year and let new talent have a go.

  6. I see them using this weekend for two aims:

    1) Get him more seat time ahead of the Indian GP, where he will likely take one of the seats.

    2) Give him some exposure so Lotus can get some additional sponsorship from Indian companies ahead of the Indian GP (or even just a one-race sponsorship deal).

  7. What a joke

    Karun Chandhok is as talented as a driver as Hamilton as a diplomat. This guy is a joke behind a steering wheel visiting the armco on his out lap in Australia.

    Luckily for him, a lot of the media likes him because he talks regularly with them, he even comments on Radio 5 live when Davidson is busy driving. Those media pushed for him to get Jarno’s seat for a long time and finally he got it which will give us the occasion to see how untalented he is ? I’m not saying he got the seat thanks to them but being media-friendly helps I guess.

    Generally, when a journalist pushes a driver he puts forward his achievements in lower formulas. With Karun, they put forward his passion about the sport, well I’m passionate too about the sport and I bet my press conferences will inflame the medias much more than Lewis. I probably have as much talent as Karun ie 0 talent. So Joe can you please ask Tony Fernandes to put me in his car.

    The positive thing about this decision is that it will confirm that the only place in the paddock Karun belongs to is THE MEDIA CENTRE.

  8. Delighted for Karun, personally I think he should be in for the rest of season now. Jarno has been a great servant to F1, but I think his time sadly passed along with Fisichella at the end of 2009. Hate to say it but Trulli is a waste of a seat.

  9. Trulli has had his Niki Lauda moment, surely — got out of the car at Silverstone and realised that he just didn’t want to do it anymore…

  10. This is also a nice way for Fenandes to kick sand in the face of Mallya after his comments the other week about indian drivers.

    As for Trulli staying or going I suppose it depends on his performances changing when the new PAS system goes in at Hungary.

  11. I think Lotus should sign another experienced driver to replace Trulli for next season. Somebody like Glock or Heidfeld would bring a lot to the team. Chandhok seems like a nice chap, but I can’t see him worrying Kovalainen…Lotus need somebody who can really push Heikki to keep things moving forwards. I think Chandhok’s appointment to a race seat is overwhelmingly a commercial decision…

  12. Joe,

    Off topic, but I saw Adam Cooper has been looking through the Renault F1 team accounts and has noticed that, in addition to the huge losses and the loans from Renault they have a £16m loan from Snoras repayable this December, and that Snoras has first charge over all the teams assets as security.

    I know you’ve covered this before, but how do you rate the chances of them making the payment?

    Also did you see that the Lotus branded KV Racing IndyCars are going with Honda engines next year, despite Lotus supposedly having a Lotus badged engine from Judd in the works.

    It comes to something when a fake lotus car can’t bring itself to use a fake lotus engine!

  13. Joe,

    I think “demeanor” is the key word used by Tony Fernandez. This year I have heard nothing but negative bitching and moaning from Trulli. After a while, I would imagine this tends to grate on the team members who are working their rears off to produce good results. I think it’s time for Trulli to retire.


  14. At least Team Lotus have the correct overalls … Most teams in the paddock are looking for someone who can sow, so they meet FIA regulations.


  15. Joe…

    I thought the way you differentiated yourself from other journalists was to investigate and provide opinion that is of interest to your readers… how is copy/pasting a Lotus press release achieving this?

  16. Also, from Trulli’s angle, I can see him giving up a race now with the power steering that he doesn’t like, with the hopes that when Chandhok steps back into a Lotus for the Indian GP, it’s Kovalainen’s seat that he takes. Fernandes seems fair, and I bet that’s the approach they’ll take.

    End result for Trulli: he sacrifices a race that would frustrate him to ensure he has more races with the upgraded power steering later in the year.

  17. @Joe

    Yes … I thought you might have corrected it, you did with my BTCC misspelling 🙂

    Predictive text is such a pain.

  18. PS. After quali. If this is supposed to be a wake up call for JT I guess he can have a lay in tomorrow.

    If TL want to use KC they’ll have to fix the brakes as well as the steering.

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