Chandhok announced as reserve at Team Lotus

Karun Chandhok was today announced as Team Lotus’ reserve driver for 2011.

The worst-kept secret in the sport became official as the Indian driver and the Anglo-Malaysian team outlined details of their tie-up.

Chandhok is to join Luis Razia, Davide Valsecchi and Carlos Teixeira on the “substitutes’ bench” behind race drivers Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen.

“These are very exciting times for Team Lotus and it’s a real honour to be able to play a part in helping shape this team’s future,” said Chandhok in a statement.

“I’ve been talking to the team for quite a while about a role with them. The details of exactly which sessions I will be in the car for are being worked out now and after having spent some time with them at the recent pre-season tests I can see exactly how passionate everyone in Team Lotus is about taking this team back to the top of the F1 grid.”

Team principal Tony Fernandes, who is currently embroiled in the legal proceedings surrounding the name of Lotus, said he was glad to have the 27-year-old Indian on board.

“This is another great day for Team Lotus. Karun’s appointment to our team gives us not only his immense driving talent and F1 experience, both of which will help us develop the car even further, but also brings one of the warmest, most professional personalities I have the pleasure of knowing into the Team Lotus family.”

Chandhok distinguished himself with some decent performances in the HRT last year before being replaced mid-way through the season, to many people’s surprise.

As the only Team Lotus reserve driver with any F1 track experience he is likely to get the nod over the others if a race seat were to become available.