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Chandhok snubs Force India test offer

September 09, 2008 19:08 IST

For someone who loathes sitting idle and getting rusty, GP2 driver Karun Chandhok would love to actually race for Force India, rather than warming the test driver's seat for the Vijay Mallya-owned Formula One outfit.

Mallya said on the sidelines of the Belgian Grand Prix that he would love to offer the test driver's seat to Chandhok next year but the youngster has to win GP2 series consistently and not sporadically.

The Chennai driver, plying his trade these days in Formula One feeder race for iSport International, said he is ready for the GP2 to F1 transition next year but test driver's role isn't exactly what he fancies.

"If there is an option to race with Force India, then that would be great," Chandhok said after the GP2 race in Spa.

"But these days the testing rules in F1 mean that you get very limited driving as a test driver for any team, perhaps 5-6 days maximum in a whole year, which means that you spend a lot of time just watching other people driving around and getting rusty yourself," he said.

"It's nice to hear that he would like me to be involved in the team and from a patriotic and emotional angle, that's great. But at the end of the day, races and careers have to be tackled using head and not heart," Chandhok said.

And in case he has to settle for a test driver's job, Chandhok says he would love to do that with a top team and claimed he is in touch with some of them.

"I would love to test with a top team and I am in discussion with some of the teams further up the field, apart from Force India," he said.

"I think I'm ready for F1 in 2009 and given the right opportunity I think I can do a good job," said the youngster.

At this junction, Chandhok reckons he might have to blend test driver's role and GP2 for another season before hitting the F1 track.

"I think it will be important to combine the test role with another year of GP2 to make sure you are race sharp.

"At this moment, I'm exploring multiple options in F1 and GP2 for 2009, so can't really say what's going to happen," said the Indian.

Looking back at his GP2 series so far, Karun is candid enough to admit that it has not followed the perfect script and rued he did not have his fair share of luck.

"I've been very unlucky this year, especially in the last five races where we've scored no points and which has sent me from 4th to 10th in the Championship.

"What makes it very frustrating is that out of the five races, none of the mishaps was my fault -- electrical failure in Hungary, out of fuel in Valencia, tyre pressure error in race 1 here [Spa] and then Yamamoto taking me out at the start of race 2.

"It's one thing to just look at the results but if you look beyond it, I think I'm driving very well at the moment," he said.

The slew of setbacks, however, has not robbed him of his optimism and Karun says he is now eyeing podium in Monza.

"Certainly podium at Monza is the aim and I'm very confident that after getting my first pole position this weekend, it's a realistic aim," he added.

© Copyright 2008 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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