He may not race in his native India this weekend, but Karun Chandhok could have a future with Team Lotus, boss Tony Fernandes said on Tuesday.
Earlier, the Malaysian businessman had to announce that, to his emotional disappointment, he must stick with the team’s regular lineup of Heikki Kovalainen alongside Jarno Trulli. Fernandes had openly contemplated putting Chandhok on the Delhi grid, but ultimately decided that Team Lotus must safeguard its lucrative tenth place in the constructors’ championship.
“We had to make the best decision for the future of the team,” he said. “While this is obviously not the decision Karun wanted us to take he understands that we have to take the long-term view and do so in the best interests of the team.”
Fernandes hinted that Chandhok, who replaced Italian Trulli for a one-off race at the Nurburgring earlier this season, may get his chance in the future.
“He understands that his relationship with our team is not about just one race, it is about growing together.
“While this is an historic event, there will be many opportunities to race in India in the future, and he is in the best possible place with us to take advantage of those chances in seasons to come,” added Fernandes.
And he said on Twitter: “If we don’t have the right finances there won’t be a team, and that includes Karun.”
Chandhok, who will nonetheless practice on Friday morning, admitted he is “obviously disappointed” he won’t be racing in front of his home crowd.
“I understand that this isn’t about me, it’s about the team and everything the 254 people on track and back at the factory are doing to build for the future,” said the 27-year-old.