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Chandhok - Still no decision from Lotus

NEWS STORY
17/10/2011

With the inaugural Indian Grand Prix fast approaching, Karun Chandhok has admitted that he still doesn't know if he'll be driving. Although Lotus team boss Tony Fernandes has suggested, more than once, that he would like Chandhok in the car for his home race, there's still no official confirmation from the Anglo-Malaysian team.

"At the moment, my honest answer is I don't know and it's out of my hands," Chandhok told Reuters. "Tony has said a million times in various interviews that he would like for it to happen."

Chandhok became only the second Indian to compete in Formula One when he debuted for Hispania last year, before being unceremoniously dumped by in the lead up to the British Grand Prix. Since then he's been resigned to a smattering of test driver appearances since signing with Lotus for 2011, though he did race in Germany where he replaced regular driver Jarno Trulli. At the time it was widely speculated that the event was a warm-up ahead of a return to the cockpit for his home Grand Prix.

Yet with less than two-weeks remaining before the event, the 27-year-old still has no idea if he'll be racing or not. "It's a question that is obviously at the top of everybody's mind and my own but I think people need to understand that there are contractual complexities, there are two contracted race drivers here and it's not a simple decision," he said.

Despite not having been confirmed as racing, Chandhok did reveal he's been inundated with media requests ahead of the event. "I am turning down more press requests than I can do at the moment," he claimed. "If I wanted to, I could do a dozen interviews a day with various magazines, newspapers and TV channels.

"To be the Indian driver on the grid for the Indian Grand Prix is a huge story there," he added.

The former GP2 race-winner went on to reveal that he visited the Buddh International Circuit ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix and was pleasantly surprised by the progress. "The circuit looks fantastic," he said. "I drove around it and the asphalt is really smooth, there are no bumps, it's a nice layout."

He went on to downplay suggestions the event could be the target of angry farmers who have threatened to interfere with the running of the weekend - 'with force, if necessary'. While dismissing the claims, he believes the country's first Grand Prix - while not trouble free - will be a success. "You are going to have to expect typical first year problems," he said. "There are going to be traffic problems, car park problems, cock-ups here and there.

"But is there anything that will really threaten the event? I don't think so. Is there anything that will really publicly embarrass the event? I don't think so."

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