“I am delighted that we are able to give Karun a full weekend in the car,” concurred Team Lotus chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne. “He has been a very good addition to our driver line-up, and now we are giving him a chance to take the next step in fulfilling his potential. We will use Karun's feedback over the weekend as a comparison against Jarno and Heikki's experiences this season with a number of aspects of the car, including the power steering system, to help us keep moving forward in 2011 and beyond.
“I am sure Karun will acquit himself very well in this and in his performances in and out of the car all weekend. The whole team is looking forward to helping him get the most out of his time in the cockpit in Germany, and it will be good to see him grab this chance and make the most of it.”
Trulli, for his part, confessed that he was 'looking forward to working with Karun this weekend and doing whatever I can to help him get the most out of his opportunity in Germany', adding: “It's great that the team is true to its word of helping to develop young talent, particularly from parts of the world where it is even harder to break through into the top rung of motorsport, so I'll be there to give [Chandhok] guidance and assistance, in and out of the car.”
Trulli has struggled in F1 2011 to-date with a lack of 'feel' from the power steering system on the Renault-powered T128, consequently finding himself out-qualified eight-one by team-mate Heikki Kovalainen – for one of the field's renowned Saturday afternoon specialists, an alarming statistic indeed.
The 37-year-old veteran will return to the car for the Hungarian Grand Prix a week later – when Lotus plans to introduce a new power steering system – but his Nürburgring replacement by Chandhok is almost certainly a strong hint from the team that he must raise his game if he is to stay there until season's end.
The former Monaco Grand Prix-winner has already conceded that this year may be his last on the grid – with the suspicion being that he will remain at Lotus in 2012, only no longer on the driving strength.
“I want to take this chance to thank Jarno for helping to make Karun's opportunity this weekend possible,” underlined Fernandes. “He has been extremely accommodating in stepping to the side for this race, and our commitment to him is unwavering.
“I am delighted to confirm that we are in the process of negotiating an extension to his contract with us, and we are all looking forward to unveiling the details of that very soon. He is a key member of our team, and I hope that we can give him a car as soon as possible that allows him to utilise his very large talents to the full. For this weekend, he will be on-hand to lend his considerable experience and support to Karun and I am sure Jarno, Heikki and Karun will do me, the whole team and all our fans very proud indeed.”