Presently out-of-work Hispania Racing (HRT) F1 2010 rookie Karun Chandhok has revealed that he hopes to have 'a final programme in-place' for 2011 before Christmas – and in the meantime, he has been keeping himself race-sharp and fit with some GP2 Series testing for former team Ocean Racing Technology (ORT).
The popular Indian – who has not competed since being 'rested' by the financially-struggling HRT outfit in favour of Japanese pay-driver Sakon Yamamoto prior to the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim back in the summer – took to the Yas Marina Street Circuit in Abu Dhabi over the weekend to lend his experience and expertise to both ORT, with whom he competed last year, and Coloni Motorsport.
With GP2 cars being the closest to F1 performance-wise, Chandhok admitted that he regarded the test days as an opportunity to brush away some of the cobwebs that have been developing and get some more mileage under his belt to put himself in good shape to clinch a cockpit on the grand prix grid in 2011. Confident that the pieces of the puzzle will all soon fall into place, the 26-year-old revealed that negotiations aimed at prolonging his career in the top flight are now well underway.
“The guys at ORT and Coloni Motorsport are good friends of mine,” he explained, “and with both of them having had tough seasons and underachieving to an extent, they called on my help to get more of an experienced view. The objective wasn't so much about chasing lap times, but more about evaluating things that could be carried over into 2011 for them.
“For me, it was a good way to learn another new F1 circuit ahead of the 2011 F1 World Championship, and a chance to further knock off the rust after having tested the new GP2 car and Pirelli tyres at Paul Ricard in France a week earlier. It's important to keep driving as much as possible to be race-ready for the new season in 2011.
“My goal for next year as I've said before is still firmly to be in F1, and negotiations for a drive are progressing in the right way, so hopefully we'll have a final programme in-place before the F1 world shuts for Christmas.