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Page last updated at 17:40 GMT, Friday, 16 July 2010 18:40 UK

Hispania drop Karun Chandhok for German Grand Prix


June 2010: Hispania duo Chandhok and Senna enjoying life in F1

By Lee McKenzie and Andrew Benson

Indian Karun Chandhok has been dropped by the Hispania team in favour of their test and reserve driver Sakon Yamamoto for the next grand prix in Germany.

The move comes in the wake of team boss Colin Kolles's decision to drop Brazilian Bruno Senna in favour of the Japanese for the British Grand Prix.

Senna will return for the German GP at Hockenheim on 25 July, where Yamamoto will be the team's other driver.

"I expect to be back for races later in the year," Chandhok told BBC Sport.

Hispania are known to be struggling financially but it is believed they want to evaluate all their drivers before establishing a line-up for 2011.

I expect to be back for some races later in the year

Karun Chandhok

Hispania have four drivers under contract - Senna, Chandhok, Yamamoto and Austrian former Jaguar and Red Bull driver Christian Klien, who has driven in Friday practice in place of Senna and Chandhok at two races this season.

It is likely that Klien will be given a run in at least one race as well.

Chandhok, 26, said: "As a racing driver it's obviously not great to be missing races but I'm not in contention for the world championship or in a points battle over anything.

"I came into this team looking to establish myself as a credible, respectable Formula 1 driver and I've done that.

"I expect to be back for some races later in the year.

"The team gave me the chance to be in F1 and I have to respect and support this decision.

"At the moment we are talking only about Hockenheim but with four drivers and two cars, it is probably inevitable I will miss some more races.


"We will sit down after Hockenheim and talk about the next race, which is in Hungary the following week.

"Then we have the summer break and we will see what happens. It is a little bit up in the air.

"The team are looking towards 2011. I have talked with Jose Ramon Carabante [team owner] about their plans for 2011 today so it's not like there's been a total breakdown between us or anything. It's just something they want to do now."

He added: "I'm quite relaxed about it. As a racing driver, I want to be racing all the time but I'm still in better shape than I was this time last year."

On Saturday at the British GP, Hispania said Senna would be back in his car for the rest of the season.

The team have not commented on reports that Senna was dropped for Silverstone after sending an internal e-mail criticising Kolles.

Sakon Yamamoto
Yamamoto will drive for Hispania for the next two grands prix

Of the German Grand Prix, 26-year-old Senna said: "I am looking forward to the race in Hockenheim as I have had a podium finish in GP2 in 2008 and I really like this track.

"Hockenheim is one of the circuits where downforce is not as important as Silverstone or Barcelona, so I believe we will be slightly more competitive against the other new teams and I hope to have a good battle against them."

Yamamoto, 28, is also relishing taking on the German track.

"I have a lot of good memories of the circuit in Hockenheim," he said.

"I like the track layout with the passing point at the end of the long straight and also the Stadium sector, which is very challenging."

Hispania are one of three new teams in F1 this year - the others are Lotus and Virgin - and have been the slowest so far.

A team statement said: "Sakon Yamamoto gave a very positive performance in Silverstone, the team has decided to give the Japanese driver another opportunity to drive the car alongside Bruno Senna.

"Karun Chandhok is still part of the Hispania Racing family and is likely to be in the car at some later races this season."

The team endured a troubled start to their debut season, with an internal takeover and subsequent name change from Campos Meta to Hispania in the build-up to the 2010 campaign.

And the Spanish marque only just made it on to the grid for the season-opener in Bahrain in March after a race against time to be ready.

They have managed to bring only one performance update to their cars since the start of the season - a new fuel system for the British Grand Prix that enabled them to run the tank down to empty for the first time.

This gains the car a significant amount of time as each 10kg of fuel (about 12 litres) adds an average of about 0.3 seconds a lap to an F1 car - and the figure is more than 0.4secs at Silverstone.

Another update - a new diffuser and other aerodynamic parts - is scheduled for later in the season but it is unclear when it might appear.

Former Williams, BAR and Red Bull designer Geoff Willis is working with Hispania on a consultancy basis as they seek to develop a competitive package.

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see also
Hispania axe Senna for British GP
08 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
Senna lifted by Hispania progress
29 May 10 |  Formula 1
Hispania split from chassis maker
26 May 10 |  Formula 1
Hispania add Klien as test driver
05 May 10 |  Formula 1

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