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Chandhok 'turned down' Hispania offer

As he congratulates his compatriot Narain Karthikeyan on his surprise return to F1 competition with Hispania Racing (HRT) this year, Karun Chandhok has admitted his own efforts are focussed on securing a drive with a points-scoring team
Karun Chandhok has revealed that he 'turned down' an offer to remain on-board at troubled F1 2010 newcomer Hispania Racing (HRT) into 2011 – as he is instead 'looking at a team that could fetch me points' and has to that end 'zeroed in' on two potential employers.

It emerged yesterday that in a surprise development, Chandhok's countryman Narain Karthikeyan – a driver who has not competed in the top flight since 2005 – is to rejoin the grand prix grid with Hispania this year, and as such will likely become the first Indian driver to compete in the inaugural Indian Grand Prix close to New Delhi in October.

Chandhok raced for HRT during his own rookie campaign in F1 last year, prior to being dropped midway through to make way for better-heeled pay-driver Sakon Yamamoto. Whilst congratulating compatriot Karthikeyan on his unexpected comeback to competition, the popular 26-year-old conceded that remaining at the financially-struggling Spanish outfit was not the right step for his own career, and that he has his sights firmly set onwards and upwards now.

“Narain's return is good, as Indian F1 fans will see at least one of our own drivers featuring in the inaugural Delhi race,” he told IANS. “I had the offer from them (HRT), but I turned it down because it would not have served my purpose in the long run.

“Racing for the team in the first year made sense, but now I am looking at a team that could fetch me points. I have zeroed in on two teams, but I wouldn't like to reveal the names 'til I finalise the deal, which might come through in a couple of weeks.”

Which two teams Chandhok is alluding to, however, remains unclear, with ostensibly only Force India F1 having any room at the inn still for F1 2011.

Related Pictures

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14 KOLLES DEU M Audi R10 TDI Narain Karthikeyan (IND)
Thursday, Karun Chandhok (IND), Hispania Racing F1 Team (HRT), F110 visits casworth factory
Friday Practice1, Karun Chandhok (IND), Hispania Racing F1 Team (HRT), F110
Karun Chandhok (IND), Hispania Racing F1 Team (HRT), F110
Saturday Practice, Karun Chandhok (IND), Hispania Racing F1 Team (HRT), F110
Karun Chandhok (IND) HRT Cosworth
Karun Chandhok, Hispania Racing, Melbourne, 2010 Australian Grand Prix [pic credit: Karun Chandhok]
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Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB13
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January 07, 2011 5:33 PM

I would like to see KC and Senna in better cars. HRT seems a dog chasing its own tail, not sure where they are going. I think KC and Senna can do well given the right team to foster learning (IMHO Sauber, FIF1, Toro Rosso). We need a Jordan university again. So much talent came from Jordan's team. While I do like the idea that testing is banned because it forces all the teams to test their new development in the public, there should be something for development drivers. IMHO, the FIA can easily fix this by forcing teams to make 1 car in FP1 for test/reserve/development driver time. Much like what FIF1 did, they have practically groomed di Resta to hit the ground running. This would make the reserve driver seat a priceless role for new drivers, and in FP1, the tract is so green, the more experienced drives can manage without it anyway.

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