Indian F1 drivers set for sidelines in 2012

Karun Chandhok (IND) Team Lotus T128 Reserve Driver and Narain Karthikeyan (IND) HRT Formula One Team.

Karun Chandhok with Narain Karthikeyan

Dec.5 (PVM) After the euphoria of the first ever grand prix in India in 2011, the country’s two Formula 1 drivers Karun Chandhok and Narain Karthikeyan are set to spend the 2012 season on the sidelines.

Chandhok was Team Lotus reserve driver last year, replaced Jarno Trulli for the German GP, but was largely confined to a Friday reserve role with the team. Karthikeyan did several races with HRT, including the inaugural Indian GP. But the forthcoming season neither appear to have options for a race seat.

Chandhok said to PTI, “It’s frustrating to watch the races and not doing it. But it is unlikely that I will race in 2012. The next best option is to continue as test and reserve driver and for that I am still talking to teams.”

“You know the way F1 is. A lot of decisions are made on commercial considerations. It’s tough for us. It’s not that people from the corporate world have not spoken to us but they are still analysing the sport,” added the 27 year old.

Karthikeyan explained, “Things have been a little slow to be honest, with the Christmas and New Year’s break. But with the holiday season now behind us we should be able to go ahead with our discussions as nothing has been finalised yet.”

“There are only a few seats available on the grid for next year, so it’s open I guess. We are hoping for the best. It is a question of many things coming together, not just what I want. So it is all up in the air as of now,” he added.