Perhaps the most confusing team in the Formula One circus, Team Lotus (formerly known as Lotus Racing, and has no connection with Proton’s Lotus) has just announced that Karun Chandhok is their latest reserve driver for the team. The popular Indian has actually raced in a few races for Hispania Racing team last year and has been since in talks to join Team Lotus as reserve driver. So this news completes Team Lotus’s driver’s lineup.
TEAM LOTUS 2011 DRIVE LINE-UP
Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) – Car #20
Jarno Trulli (Italy) – Car #21
Karun Chandhok (India) – Reserve Driver
Luiz Razia – Third Driver
Davide Valsecchi – Test Driver
Ricardo Teixeira – Test Driver
The irony is that, a few weeks ago, they have announced that their fellow Team Air Asia drivers (a sister team to participate in GP2 Asia series, a feeder single seater series to F1) Luiz Razia and Davide Valsecchi as their reserve drivers. Agolan’s Ricardo Teixeira, a Formula 2 driver, is also joining the reserve driver team. Among the trio, it seems Davide is much fitter to become Team Lotus’s reserve driver as he took one podium position in the most recent GP2 Asia round in Dubai and also champion in the GP2 Asia series in 2009-2010 season.
It is difficult to understand why they have a reserve driver and a third driver, not to mention, 2 test drivers when one reserve driver can do the testing. Testing is banned when the F1 season starts hence this leaves the third driver and test driver’s roles redundant. However with the GP2 series which has always act as a supporting race before the F1 race for most of the rounds, the reserve drivers like Davide ad Luiz will be occupied.
Anyhow, Karun, a media and fan friendly figure in Formula One, will have his debut with Team Lotus on this Friday’s practice season in Australian GP.
On the another note, there a recent spat between David Hunt (the person who holds the rights to the name “Team Lotus”) and Tony Fernandes, just in time when the trial of who holds the Lotus names starts in UK. In short, it’s ugly politics and greed, and we reserve our judgement until the final verdict is out.