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Karun Chandhok named as Team Lotus reserve

Karun Chandhok
Chandhok is the second Indian driver to race in F1

Team Lotus have confirmed Indian driver Karun Chandhok as their reserve for the 2011 Formula 1 season.

The 27-year-old took part in 10 races for Hispania last year.

He joins race drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli, third driver Luiz Razia and test drivers Davide Valsecchi and Ricardo Teixeira at Lotus.

"These are very exciting times for Team Lotus and it's a real honour to be able to play a part in helping shape this team's future," said Chandhok.

"I've been talking to the team for quite a while about a role with them.

"The details of exactly which sessions I will be in the car for are being worked out now and after having spent some time with them at the recent pre-season tests I can see exactly how passionate everyone in Team Lotus is about taking this team back to the top of the F1 grid."

I do not think it is going too far to say that Karun represents the future of motor racing

Lotus team principal Tony Fernandes

Chandhok will take part in "a number of first practice sessions during the season" including Friday morning in Australia, although it has not been revealed which race driver's car he will be in.

Team Lotus team principal Tony Fernandes was delighted to confirm the recruitment of Chandhok as reserve driver.

"This is another great day for Team Lotus," said the 46-year-old Malaysian.

"Karun's appointment to our team gives us not only his immense driving talent and F1 experience, both of which will help us develop the car even further, but also brings one of the warmest, most professional personalities I have the pleasure of knowing into the Team Lotus family."

"I do not think it is going too far to say that Karun represents the future of motor racing - he is living proof that geography is no boundary to talent and ambition and that you will succeed if you work hard and keep dreaming."

Chandhok became the second Indian driver - after Narain Karthikeyan in 2005 - to compete in F1 when he raced for Hispania during the Spanish team's debut 2010 season.

He recorded the team's first classified F1 finish with 14th place in Australia, a finish he matched in Monaco, but after the 10th race of the season - the British Grand Prix at Silverstone - he was dropped in favour of Japanese driver Sakon Yamamoto for the remainder of the campaign.

Karthikeyan, meanwhile, will return to F1 this season after he was named as a race driver for Hispania in January.

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see also
Razia announced as Lotus reserve
11 Mar 11 |  Formula 1
Liuzzi given drive with Hispania
09 Mar 11 |  Formula 1
Gascoyne aiming for higher grid position
24 Feb 11 |  Formula 1
Team Lotus abandon black and gold
12 Dec 10 |  Formula 1
Lotus revive original team name
12 Sep 10 |  Formula 1
Karun Chandhok profile
19 Nov 10 |  Drivers & Teams

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