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Chandhok still waiting over Indian hopes

17 October 2011

Karun Chandhok says he is still waiting to hear if Team Lotus will give him the opportunity to compete in the inaugural Indian Grand Prix.

Chandhok competed in the German Grand Prix as a replacement for Jarno Trulli earlier in the season and had hoped to get the chance to race in front of his home fans when F1 makes its first appearance on Indian soil.

No decision has yet been taken over Chandhok's participation in the race, with team principal Tony Fernandes saying it would be up to the team to make the final call, and the driver himself said he was just waiting to see if he will be given the green light to compete.

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

"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.

"I am turning down more press requests than I can do at the moment. If I wanted to, I could do a dozen interviews a day with various magazines, newspapers and TV channels. And for all of them the very first question is the same. And I understand it. To be the Indian driver on the grid for the Indian Grand Prix is a huge story there."

Question marks have been raised in recent weeks about the inaugural race, with reports that local farmers plan to launch a protest over compensation being offered for the land used to build the new circuit.

However, Chandhok said he fully expected the race to be a success, even if there are the inevitable teething problems.

"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.

"I think the circuit looks fantastic. I was there before I flew to Suzuka. I drove around the circuit and the asphalt is really smooth, there's no bumps and the kerbs are in. It's a nice layout."


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