Karun Chandhok has a good chance of racing in next month’s inaugural Indian Formula One Grand Prix, Team Lotus owner Tony Fernandes said.
“I’d like him to. It’s up to the team to see whether he will,’’ the Malaysian entrepreneur said at the Italian Grand Prix.
India’s Chandhok, the team’s reserve driver, has already raced once this season after replacing Team Lotus’s veteran Italian Jarno Trulli at the German Grand Prix in July.
He has also taken part in several Friday practice sessions. Team Lotus announced yesterday that Trulli’s contract had been extended to the end of next year but Fernandes said the Italian would be most likely to step down if Chandhok was given the nod to race.
“Yes, I think Heikki (Kovalainen) is our number one driver, although Jarno’s outqualified him here.’’
If Chandhok does race in India, there should be two homegrown drivers on the starting grid for the October 30 race in New Delhi with Narain Karthikeyan set to be behind the wheel for struggling HRT.
Mclaren will fight on, says Whitmarsh
McLaren chief Martin Whitmarsh on Monday vowed to continue fighting to win Grands Prix and said his team had not yet given up hope of stopping Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull from winning this year’s world titles.
Even though it would take a bizarre sequence of events for either of his British drivers 2008 champion Lewis Hamilton or 2009 champion Jenson Button to rekindle their title hopes, Whitmarsh said nobody at McLaren had given up hope.
Whitmarsh said: “There is a good chance of winning it — the race in Singapore. Winning Grands Prix is what we are here to do and we will be trying pretty hard in Singapore.”
Asked if he thought the championship was virtually over, he said: “No, not yet. But we think we want to try and win some races. It is possible, but they (Red Bull Racing) are doing a good job and Sebastian is not making enough mistakes at the moment, but we will see.”