The Sun has quoted team boss Colin Kolles as saying that the 26-year-old from Chennai was forced out of his drive after the British Grand Prix “because he did not fulfil his contractual obligations.”
A report in the Deccan Chronicle has claimed that the Spanish outfit is set to sue Chandhok for breaching his contract.
“When he signed an agreement with us for the 2010 season, Karun made a lot of promises on paper. But he failed to fulfil his obligations,” Kolles is quoted.
“We waited for some time, but we didn’t have any other choice than to suspend him at the German GP,” he added. “However, we did everything diplomatically. We didn’t make it public. Since then, Karun was never in the team’s radar.”
Sources claim that Chandhok’s sponsor – believed to be the Jaypee Group, the organisation currently heading up the Indian Grand Prix platform – paid only $2 million of the promised $8 million, which Kolles claimed stifled the team’s progress in developing its Dallara-designed chassis in 2010.
“We were planning to do certain upgrades on the car, but everything got disturbed,” Kolles claimed.
The typical process a team adopts when a sponsor stops paying is to remove the logo from the car, so why is Jaypee’s logo still visible on the car’s engine cover (pictured left) all through the season if it apparently stopped payment?
And would the extra $6 million seriously have made all the difference in developing the car during 2010? It is well-known that – save for a couple of suspension pick-up adjustments – the car had next-to-no development all season, and the team seemed to demonstrate very little intention of developing the car. How much of this is a function of the missing $6 million is not completely clear…
Now Kolles deserves enormous credit for keeping the HRT ship – which many felt would sink early in 2010 – afloat, but there are still questions that remain.
The charades about why the team’s driver line-up were chopped and changed unnecessarily disrespectful to any Formula 1 fan with half a brain who could see that it all centred around money.
The team struggled to generate the sponsorship it had hoped for from Brazil and India – and with the potential goldmines of a Senna name and an Indian driver, respectively, that’s another dreadful showing from the corporate worlds of their countries, not to mention a separate matter for another article.
It’s entire modus operandi was to survive in 2010, and survive they did. But the team – like Ferrari with its ham-fisted and patronising handling of the team orders scandal – earned itself few points with its press interaction, and one could certainly argue that passion and direction have been sorely lacking at times in Murcia.
Let’s only hope it improves in 2011…