Well here’s an interesting claim!

Karun Chandhok claims to have been offered a drive by HRT, but turned it down Karun Chandhok has claimed he rejected the opportunity to return to the Formula 1 grid in 2011 with Hispania Racing.

With his countryman Narain Karthikeyan making his own comeback to F1 at the Spanish squad, there remains the other vacancy to drive for the team in 2011, but Chandhok claims he “turned it down”.

Speaking with the Indo-Asian News Service (IANS), Chandhok has stated his intention or getting a test driver role with a stronger team, rather than risk damaging his reputation with a second season at the back of the grid.

“I had the offer from them but I turned it down because it would not have served my purpose in the long run,” he said.

“Racing for the team in the first year made sense, but now I am looking at a team that could fetch me points,” he added.

The Chennai-born driver said he was in discussions with two teams – one of which is rumoured to be Lotus – about a test driver role, which he hopes could propel him into a race seat in 2012.

“"I want something for the medium and long term – not just for 2011,” he also told AUTOSPORT.

“What I do in 2012 and 2013 is important. If that means taking a back seat, as reserve driver next year, then so be it – a bit like what Paul di Resta did in 2010. As long as it is somewhere further up the grid, then that is the best option,” he added.

Chandhok added that the idea of teaming up with Team Lotus appealed to him.

“I like Tony’s [Fernandes] attitude about building an Asian team," he said. "He has been quite vocal about it, and talked in the past about building a team with Asian drivers and staff. For me to go there would be a big benefit to him too, especially as [title sponsor] AirAsia is now flying to India.

“The team progressed well last year with its structure. There are a lot of good people there, and they invested well for the future. It seems like a good place to be for the immediate future – but at the moment nothing is done. Everything is still up in the air,” he added.

[Original image via Sidepodcast]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.