FI driver Chandhok in talks with Force India for 2011 season

Thursday, November 11, 2010

NEW DELHI - Indian Formula One driver Karun Chandhok’s top priority is to race in the 2011 season and for that he is negotiating with four FI teams for a permanent driver’s spot, including the Vijay Mallya-owned Force India.

Chandhok, who drove for the Hispania F1 team for the first 10 races of the current season, said his main objective next season will be to race even in a slower car rather than being a test driver for top teams like Red Bull and Ferrari.

The Chennai-based driver Thursday again reaffirmed his stand on getting behind the wheels for the next season.

“I am a racer and nothing gives me more satisfaction than being out there competing on the track,” said Chandhok on the sideline of the launch Amaron Karting Challenge 3.

“I fly to Abu Dhabi tonight and will be talking to four teams for next season’s contract and yes Force India is one of them. I am in regular touch with Vijay.

“I am also in talks with my present team Hispania. I hope to seal the deal by the end of December,” he said.

The second Indian to drive a F1 car after Narain Karthikeyan believes his stint with the Hispania will help him get a driver’s spot for the next F1 calendar.

Chandok failed to score a point but was impressive in the races he competed in, crossing the chequered flag in eight out of 10 occasions.

“I have experienced what it likes to be in a FI car and that should give me an advantage over dozens of GP2 drivers in grabbing three-four seats available for 2011.

“I am satisfied with the way I raced in the opportunities I got. Hispania was not the fastest of cars but it was expected since they debut this year like me,” he said.

The current F1 title is going down to wire witih four drivers - Fernando Alosno (Ferrari), Sebastian Vettel (Redbull), Mark Webber (Redbull) and Lewis Hamilton (Mclaren) - in hunt at the season finale in Abu Dhabi Sunday. And when asked about his favourite for lifting the crown, Chandok picked Webber over leader Alonso.

“Mark is a dear friend and I want him to win. Sebastian is young and he will get many more opportunities in the future. It will be great if Mark can pull it off late into his career,” he wished.

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