Karun to race in German Grand Prix as Trulli steps aside

July 21st, 2011 - 6:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Nurburgring, July 21 (IANS) India’s Karun Chandhok will be driving in the Formula One German Grand Prix here this weekend after his Team Lotus colleague Jarno Trulli stepped aside and gave up his race seat.

Chandhok, the 27-year old from Chennai, has spent much of this season as a reserve driver with an occasional outing during Friday practice sessions and will be back racing after nearly a year’s break.

The change in the driver line-up is seen in some quarters as a move to provide more track time to Chandhok, who will be teaming up with Heikki Kovalainen this weekend, and prepare him for the inaugural Indian Grand Prix in October.

“Ever since I first joined the team, I have been looking forward to this opportunity and I am determined to do my best to repay their faith in me and help the team progress, this season and for many years to come,” said Chandhok.

“I am approaching the weekend in a very realistic frame of mind. I will be doing my best to push and to make sure I learn as much as possible, take each session as it comes and work as closely as I can with the engineers and the whole team to do the best job I can.

“Whatever happens, I am very excited about lining up on the grid Sunday and I know there will be millions of Indian fans, and Team Lotus fans around the world, who will be behind me and the whole team.

On his part, Trulli, the 37-year old Italian in his 14th F1 season, said: “I am looking forward to working with Karun this weekend and doing whatever I can to help him get the most out of his opportunity here.

“It is great that the team is true to its word of helping develop young talent, particularly from parts of the world where it is even harder to break through into the top rung of motorsport, so I will be there to give him guidance and assistance, in and out of the car.”

Team principal Tony Fernandes, who will be making his maiden appearance in the German Grand Prix, said Karun’s participation in the race makes his visit even more exciting.

“I am looking forward to my first visit to Grand Prix, even more so now we have announced that Karun will be competing in his first full race weekend for Team Lotus.

“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.

“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,” Fernandes said.

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