Chandhok: Indian GP drive would be 'magic'

    Karun Chandhok made his only grand prix appearance so far this season in Germany in July.

    Story highlights

    • Karun Chandhok has said it would be 'magic' to race in first Indian Grand Prix
    • Chandhok is currently a reserve driver for CNN-sponsored Team Lotus
    • The 27-year-old has made just one grand prix appearance so far this season
    Team Lotus reserve driver Karun Chandhok has told CNN it would be "magic" to be on the grid when Formula One makes its debut in his home country of India next month.
    Chandhok, 27, joined the CNN-sponsored team at the start of the 2011 season, and is currently behind first-choice drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli in the pecking order.
    But Lotus team principal Tony Fernandes raised hopes of the former HRT driver taking part in the inaugural Delhi race when he said he would like to see Chandhok take to the track on October 30.
    "I'd like him to. It's up to the team to see [whether he will]," AirAsia chief Fernandes told Reuters.
    On the issue of which racer would make way for Chandhok, Fernandes, who recently purchased English soccer team Queens Park Rangers, suggested Trulli would be the one to face the axe.
    "Yes, I think Heikki [Kovalainen] is our number one driver, although Jarno's outqualified him [at the Italian Grand Prix]."
    In response to Fernandes' admission, Chandhok said: "It's obviously very nice to hear. He's the man who can make it happen. I've just got to wait and see what he decides.
    "As a racing driver, the most emotional race is certainly your home grand prix. If I do get the opportunity to do it, it'll be fantastic, but as this moment it's a question only Tony can answer.
    "To be an Indian driver on the grid for the first Indian Grand Prix would be magic. I've been very involved in the circuit; I've been visiting the site every month. To have the opportunity to drive would sort of complete that circle."
    Chandhok was given a drive ahead of the veteran Italian Trulli, who extended his contract with Lotus last weekend, for the German Grand Prix in July, where he finished in last place.
    While Chandhok admitted dropping a driver can create a difficult situation for the team, he insisted his relationship with Trulli has been unaffected.
    "It's not ideal, there's no doubt about that ... I experienced it last year [at HRT], my drive was given to Sakon Yamamoto in the second half of the season. It's tough.
    "When they put me in the car in Germany ... it's a very difficult situation. It can be awkward. But I have to say Jarno was fantastic. He offered his advice and support all through the weekend. I have to say hats off to him, he was a model professional."
    On his own future, Chandhok, who made his Formula One debut at the 2010 Bahrain Grand Prix, made no secret of his desire to earn a full-time seat with Lotus. But he said any decision on his future with the team would be made by Fernandes.
    "I need to sit and figure things out with Tony and where we are and where we see the future. I'd like to stay with Tony, with Lotus, and in the future race for them full-time. That's my ambition.
    "I'd love to race with these guys and Tony's got a fantastic vision of trying to build an Asian team and I'd love to be a part of that programme."