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Chandhok pondering switch from Hispania

November 11, 2010 17:43 IST

Indian racer Karun Chandhok may start the 2011 Formula One season with a new team and the Hispania driver on Thursday disclosed that he was discussing the switch with four teams, including Force India.

Chandhok did not rule out the test driver option but said the objective is to race full season even if it means getting the driver's seat in a lesser team.

"There are three-four seats available. The objective is to race. It's very clear. I will be talking to four teams over the weekend in Abu Dhabi and Force India is one of them," Chandhok said at the launch of the Amazon Karting Challenge season 3, in New Delhi.

"I have not closed that test driver option. And If there is an option to race just a few races for one team and have full season with a team which is further back on the grid, I would take the second one," he added.

Karun ChandhokSince India will be hosting its first ever F1 race in the 2011 season, an Indian driver in Force India car will give a huge fillip to motorsport in the country.

But Force India owner Vijay Mallya was not keen to have Chandhok in his team and had even once said that he is not F1 material.

Chandhok said much water has flown under the bridge since then.

"I think I am in a better position this time than what I was in 2009. I got the chance to showcase my talent. And Mr Mallya is entitled to his opinion. I have got the credibility and I am in a better position for the next season," he said.

"Bernie Ecclestone (F1 boss) has been supportive all these years and I have got good words from even the likes of Lewis Hamilton."

Chandhok made his F1 debut this season for Spanish side Hispania and hit the track in the first half of the year.

Out of 10 races, he completed eight and retired in two before being replaced by Sakon Yamamoto.

He said he missed racing after being replaced but understood the compromise.

"It's a bit complicated. They are a new team with many drivers. They are not competing for championship or points. So they wanted to evaluate the whole set up...the drivers, the engineers, the car, the design.

"So they gave chance to everyone. They are to build a team for future but they know what I can do. They needed to create a platform and opportunities," he said.

Talking about Force India, who are in a tough fight with Williams for the sixth position in the constructors' championship with just one race to go, Chandhok said they have had a reasonably successful season.

"It was criss-crossed season for Williams. They had nothing special at the start but Force India were great. Then from Valencia, Williams brought new aero dynamics updates and it worked.

"Abu Dhabi (last race of the season on Sunday) track would suit Force India but it was a stop-start season for them," he said.

 

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