Karun Chandhok is closing in on a deal as reserve driver for Team Lotus after accepting an offer to visit the team who are debuting the T128 in pre-season testing at Valencia.
Karun Chandhok at Valencia wearing a Team Lotus jacket. Photo by xpb.cc.
Although he has not denied a wish to have a role with the team, the Indian has confirmed negotiations are on going though a contract is yet to be signed.
“At the moment I am still in discussions,” he told Autosport.com. “Nothing is confirmed yet, and I have come here to see how the team works and to have a catch up with Tony Fernandes and Mike Gascoyne.
“Of course it would be nice to have a continued role in F1, but there is nothing finalised yet.”
Team boss Tony Fernandes confirmed that the Indian was being considered yet hasten to add there was no rush to decide who would get the vacancy.
“Karun is here as a guest,” he told Autosport. “Again I am not somebody who is going to rush into things.
“I think he likes us a lot, and he would! I want the team to also gel with him. He is a good lad, he can add a lot of value to the team. I would like Karun to be involved with us in some way shape or form.
“We want a reserve driver who is going to be good for us, and Karun is definitely on the list. For me, I want it to be a team effort, and I want the team to feel comfortable.
“I want everyone to feel good about it, and I think the reserve driver has to contribute. Today is for him to see what the team is like.”
With the Indian Grand Prix scheduled for 30th October, the commercial attraction Chandhok brings will benefit the team and an announcement confirming the appointment is expected in due course.