Karun Chandhok, Lotus, Buddh International Circuit, 2011

Chandhok expects to remain a reserve driver

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up Karun Chandhok is contemplating a third driver role again in 2012.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Preparing to continue as test driver for another season: Karun (The Times of India)

“I am mentally preparing myself to continue as a test driver for another season.”

Hulkenberg: Understanding tyres key (Autosport)

“I don’t know exactly how the Pirelli tyres will behave so I will make sure that I get all of the information I need to learn quickly.”

Sutil manager calm despite search for seat (GP Update)

Manfred Zimmermann: “It is still too early to talk about an uncertain future. I cannot say who we are talking to but there are still several options.”

Welcome back pal, Alonso tells Kimi (The Sun)

“He’s one of the drivers with the biggest talent on the grid, a world champion, a wonderful person. So it’s going to be a pleasure to race alongside him.”

Government Ministers Visit Williams F1 and Williams Technology Centre Qatar (Williams)

“Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint visited the team?s factory at Grove and Lord Astor of Hever, Undersecretary of State for the Ministry of Defence visited the Williams Technology Centre in Qatar.”

The Annual 2011: Top 10 worst celebrity ads (Brand Republic)

Jenson Button’s Head and Shoulders ad is named the worst of the year.

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

What does the future hold for Fernando Alonso? Here’s Bananarama’s thoughts:

As much as I?d enjoy Alonso walking through a season winning almost everything single handedly, that?d get a bit boring after a while.

I?d enjoy it even more if he could win a season like 2010, everyone knows he didn?t have the best car but he just performed best. Then the next season an easy title, showing Perez how its done and then a happy retirement with four titles.

But that’s enough dreaming for now, lets see how revolutionary their new car will really be (kinda doubt it) and if that revolutionary approach really works.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Dan M!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Ten years ago today Nick Heidfeld voiced his disappointment at missing out on a drive for McLaren in 2002, despite having been on their driver development programme.

The seat went to his former Sauber team mate Kimi Raikkonen instead.

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  • 81 comments on “Chandhok expects to remain a reserve driver”

    1. Another 2010 would be fantastc, surely a one of though – 4 going into the final race eying the title – that’s unheard of!

        1. You got it right the first time.

          1. surely a one of though

            That’s what he was correcting.

      1. But we can dream, cant we! A season with the tight and ever changing championship battle we had in 2010, and races like this years best…
        If we can enjoy exitement and suprise results, that would make it largely unimportant to me who of them exactly wins in the end.

        1. @BasCB I always thought.that a combination of 2010 & 2011 would make for a fantastic season.

    2. Alonso deserves to become at least a 3 times champion, but if he’d won 2010 (by less than 7 points anyway) it would have been a travesty.

      1. cos red bull were treating both drivers equally?

        its good for a chuckle at least

        1. Alonso would have ironically won the 2010 championship if Red Bull swapped their drivers around in the penultimate round.

          Now that would have been comedy provided by Red Bull.

          1. And Hamilton would have won if his wheel never fell off in Spain – that’s how unbeleivably close that season was. By changing just a single result you could alter the outcome significantly! Brilliant season, more of the same in 2012!

            1. It’s arguable 4 ways really. Any of those 4 could have been the champion.

        2. They didn’t break a strict rule and get away with it quite like Ferrari.

          1. In what court of law can you win with the argument “we all know what that message meant”? While I agree Ferrari shouldn’t have done it and that it was executed stupidly to a point that I felt like banging my head against a wall, I still haven’t seen anyone prove them breaking a rule. Smedley clearly just wanted to motivate Massa to go faster and once he had made a mistake that allowed Alonso to pass he expressed his feelings by telling the brazilian that he felt sorry.
            While I feel somewhat disgusted by the utter drizzle I just unloaded, that is the argumentation that will be hard to prove wrong. Now I have to go take a shower …

            1. once he had made a mistake that allowed Alonso to pass

              Reading that one might get the impression that Massa went off the track and Alonso passed him. But of course he didn’t.

              Ferrari told Massa to let Alonso through, despite the fact that Massa had legitimately led the race up to that point and had successfully defended his position from Alonso.

              I see no reason to drag this all up again, much less start pretending that this was not Ferrari employing team orders.

            2. I’m with Keith here. I didn’t want to drag up the whole argument, mainly because I don’t think that people, including the FIA who let them off, believed Ferrari were innocent. Sure, it’s difficult to prove 100%, but it was so obvious that they should have found a way if they were more competent. I just wanted to point out that unless Alonso had won by more than 7 points, it would have been extremely controversial, considering he should possibly have been stripped of that win altogether.

            3. @bananarama, I think you underestimate the courts with your argument, that a court would not accept the fact Massa was told to let Alonso by.

              It was clear enough from evidence the stewards hat that this was a case of Team Orders. Indeed, after initially claiming it had not been, even Ferrari changed their tune from not having enacted TO, to the actual sense of not allowing team orders, claiming it should be a teams right to use them. And they won that argument, at least for the rule makers (not from the fans).

    3. Oh, now, come on — I’ve seen much worse than that Jenson Button ad! We have some pretty appalling ones here featuring Danica Patrick, for instance. I guess maybe the standards are a bit higher in the UK…

      1. Oh good lord, that ad is even worse than the one with Vettel thats shown in Germany. I wouldn’t have believed that to be possible but now I see it actually is.

        1. Hey, I love that Vettel ad! It’s a work of unparalleled brilliance! :-)

          1. I will guess that neither of then is getting a nom by Cannes Lions of Creativity

      2. We have a huge poster in the UK, featuring Danica Patrick and Godaddy.co.uk..

      3. Can’t believe that Alonso’s Fiat advert wasn’t in there. Easily worse than Button’s (though for me Figo’s beats them both).

        1. I saw that on holiday in Italy, originally, where Alonso’s voice was used. Thought it was pretty bad then. Then came back and saw it in the UK, where Alonso’s voice was dubbed by and actor. Here it is. Just wrong.

          As for the Button ad: It’s not that bad is it? Yes, quite cheesy, but the Hamilton Tag Heuer ad that preceeded Senna at the cinema had us laughing out loud. Much worse.

      4. That ad’s lovely!

    4. I’ve found a full list of Formula 1 drivers taking part in the i1 Super Series. They’ve actually managed to get quite a few, too – Jacques Villeneuve, Giancarlo Fisichella, Vitantonio Liuzzi, Karun Chandhok, Jean Alesi, Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Alex Yoong, Sakon Yamamoto, Mika Salo
      and Neel Jani. Admittedly, they’re not all superstars, but there’s quite a few good names in that field.

      1. It’s not too bad at all. It’d be definitely worth a look.

        1. I’m very curious as to how all of this is going to work, because I think the series has potential. The problem is that the team and driver line-ups have not been set, and there is no information on how the actual races will work, so it’s a little hard to judge.

          I think the calendar is a little flat, but that’s probably because the series needs to establish itself before it can expand out. Right now, they’re going to Buddh, Bahrain, Yas Marina, Losail and Sepang. I think that could be expanded out to include Istanbul, the Dubai Autodrome and Sentul. And if V8 Supercars gets races established in Singapore (near Changi Airport) and the Philippines (at Clark Airfield, a disused American Air Force base), then the i1 Series could probably visit them, too.

          I said yesterday that the series is clearly modelled on Superleague Formula and the Indian Premier League, which isn’t a bad idea; the IPL works, and Superleague was gathering momentum before this year’s disaster. I actually think that i1 could take the concept further and really play up rivalries between teams – the teams’ points would be added up after each round, and a special race would be run for the Indian drivers with the grid decided by the points tally, though it would only (and very deliberately) be good for teams’ points, the idea being to get cities to support their teams.

      2. My favorite part of this comment is that it keeps Jacques away from F1.

        1. Villeneuve was never going to come back.

          1. he will never fit in the car.

      3. I was quite pleased to see on Twitter last night that Pippa Mann, the other British driver that was involved in the Indycar crash in which Dan Wheldon lost his life, has recovered enough from the injuries she sustained to be involved in the i1 Super Series.

      4. Liuzzi will beat ’em all!

    5. Yes for sure he has the money with him so any team will be ready to have him for them as a test driver.

    6. Looks like I know what I’ll be doing on the weekend of January 22nd!

      Villenueve and Alesi!!! Big fan of both…cant wait!!

    7. Chandhok is over rated. Karthikeyan is even faster than he is. He is articule though, but words don’t drive a car.

    8. Your life is not complete until you have seen Michael Schumacher … perform Bohemian Rhapdosy.

      1. please no! That should come with a warning :-o

        Schumacher seems to be almost unable to stand on his own legst there. The one with Rosberg is pretty appaling as well. The only one who can sing without embarresment, is Norbert Haug!

        1. They’re evidently all very drunk.

        2. Yeah that needed a heads up lol Think I would have preferred to hear 20 cats scratching on a chalkboard.

      2. That’s the single best thing Ever. THat could replace the rickroll, easilly.

        1. Could? Should!

      3. …and Schumacher’s return to F1 is instantly justified!

    9. I’m sure Jenson is just devastated that his advert is so poorly rated.

      While he’s sleeping with Jessica Michibata.

      On a bed made out of money.


    10. I’m not really into the whole celeb gossip thing but if it’s true that Alonso’;s divorcing then I think he’s conducted himself brilliantly this year on track. Compared to Lewis, who I feel very sorry for as he’s clearly had such a rough time Fernando has been completely professional.

      On another Fernando related note I sincerely hope Ferrari produce a good enough car next year but not because I’m a Ferrari fan but because I’m a fan of the sport and it’s ridiculous that a sublime talent like Alonso has had years wasted in absolutely rubbish cars. So far, he and Vettel have taken 3 years to get into a decent title challenging car since entering F1 while Lewis has had one. That isn’t so bad. However, Alonso’s now had a further three years in terrible cars. I look back on 08 with strong affection thanks to Felipe and I still believe Massa was stronger than Hamilton that year but in 08 I think Alonso was the best that season and it saddens me greatly that he didn’t have a chance. In 09 I thought he was actually the best on the grid again and yet he was in an even worse car (arguably the worst on the grid). 2011 wasn’t a big surprise for me because the switch to Pirelli’s meant that Ferrari had the most to lose after their relationship with Bridgestone but it’s infuriating that once again the best talent on the grid’s most realistic expectation on a race weekend is to get 3rd or 4th. I don’t want Alonso to dominate as that wouldn’t be good for the sport either but if he should have a car that could challenge that would be enough.

      I don’t see any real options for Sutil expect Williams but I’d much prefer it if Petrov got that seat because he seems to have some potential but Sutil’s had more than enough time in F1 now.

      1. “Motorsport Aktuell” is stating that Sutil negotiates with Ferrari for 2013. I really don’t see that. But they also suggest that he can bring about 6million in sponsor money to a team. If that is true, I see a lot of other drivers with better chances to get a seat.

        1. Thanks for the info! I just don’t see it happening. I don’t see why Ferrari would want Sutil when Force India didn’t think he was good enough and out of all the teams you’d expect Ferrari to have the least amount of trouble finding sponsors. If he does have that much money then I guess he’ll get the Williams seat…

          1. I think the fact we hear a bit of rumours of Sutil talking to Ferrari, has far more to do with him having an active manager who has good contacts in the German press @Steph, so don’t worry!

            It never hurts to have teams you are negotiating with feel you might be wanted by the likes of Ferrari or Mercedes, if only to make them give you the nod a week earlier. And telling how much money you bring also sounds like good advertising to me.

        2. @bananarama – I think it is unlikely that Sutil would join Ferrari for 2013. Popular rumour holds that Robert Kubica will be testing a Ferrari F10 in coming weeks and will be working with the team to make a comeback then. Likewise, one of Ferrari’s development drivers – Sergio Perez – will come of age by then, with two years’ experience in the sport. Sutil would be facing some tough competition.

          1. I don’t see Kubica getting more than a test for Ferrari and if he does get even that he’ll be lucky. Unfortunately, he’s a massive gamble now and the Kubica of old may well be gone. Ferrari were conservative to resign Massa in 2010 (not that I feel they were wrong) but I don’t see them taking a big gamble now. They may as well wait and see if Kubica comes back with someone else and then bag him. Perez is a much more likely bet and then maybe in a few years Bianchi.

    11. Martin Brundle reckons “the music has stopped” and that the last few seats on the driver market have been decided in principle:

      Suspect Vitaly Petrov may re emerge at Caterham F1 (formerly Team Lotus) in 2012. Music has stopped, there’ll be a mad scramble for seats

      I’m curious as to why he thinks Petrov is going to defect.

      1. It’s not really a defection when you get kicked out, is it?

        1. Tell that to Vasili Mitrokhin – he compromised a mission, so the KGB permanently assigned him to be the head of their archives (the nicest version of “fired” that they had), which he meticulously compiled and then handed over to British Intelligence in 1992, and basically gave the West every single high-value spy operation that Russia was running.

          1. The perfect revenge, take the secrets with him! A bit like what Nigel Stepney and his buddy at McLaren were planning then!

            Ah, espionage, it really was at a high in de glory days of the cold war. By now its gone all complicated and blurred. No good books any more. Fun information there PM.

            1. A bit like what Nigel Stepney and his buddy at McLaren were planning then!

              I have a theory: the information was never actually supposed to go to McLaren. I recall reading somewhere that Mike Coughlan was disinfatuated with McLaren, so he and Stepney decided to go somewhere else – Honda. But then somehow the information got into McLaren’s hands, and we may never know how exactly.

              Ah, espionage, it really was at a high in de glory days of the cold war

              I am convinced that my best friend’s parents were in the KGB. As accountants. But she does know me very well, and I’ve suspected for a while now that she gives me just enough information that my mind will make outrageous leaps to connect the dots.

            2. Well, you never know with accountants. Although they might just be aliens (a la Man In Black) :-)

          2. Well that was an interesting story but I’m afraid I see little grounds for comparison with a racing driver being dropped by one team and joining another.

            1. Even after those teams spent a year at each others’ throats over the use of the Lotus name? Sure, they parted on amicable terms and Caterham is now considered to be its own constructor, but considering the delight that Tony Fernandes had when his team was battling Renault – and winning – in Singapore (even if that was just because the R31 was rubbish on the circuit), it is an apt metaphor, even if it is out-dated.

          3. Don’t quite see how that’s relevant to Petrov though…

      2. defect what, @prisoner-monkeys? A team that he already severed his ties to after they chose not to keep him for next year?

        I am not afraid of saying, that Petrov likely knew by Brazil that the team was not really into keeping him, probably that was part of the reason for now famous his outburst as he felt the reasons they stated were not fair.

        Because they had a contract they possibly gave Petrov some time to up the sponsorship package to buy his own seat for another year, but he/his management either knew it would not be able to bring enough for what they were asking, or decided to try their chances elsewhere, accepting defeat.

        If he now offers his relatively solid midfield driving, his sponsorship package and the added bonus of giving Caterham a good entry into the Russian market, why not? Both could do worse, i guess.

        1. A team that he already severed his ties to after they chose not to keep him for next year?

          I only really used “defect” as an adjective because Petrov is Russian and I’ve been teaching the history of the Cold War for the last two weeks.

          1. @prisoner-monkeys, yes, that explains it!

            They are teaching the history of the cold war in schools down under now! Wow. In our school days history ended more or less with WW II, and only a bit of post colonial stuff after that!

            1. It was an elective unit for Modern History, “International Studies in Peace and Conflict”. Not all schools do it, but I’ve been doing a bit of casual teaching and I was given a whole lot of modern history classes, and the school just happened to teach a the Cold War as their elective under that unit (thankfully, they don’t do the Arab-Israeli conflict – I would have been hopelessly lost).

            2. @prisoner-monkeys, sounds like an interesting idea! Is it something schools do before the christmas brake/summer brake?

              You are certainly right about getting lost in the middle east conflict, its confusing as it is, and I have noticed you got some strange ideas on it i.e. Bahrain discussion ;-)

            3. @bascb

              Is it something schools do before the christmas brake/summer brake?

              In New South Wales, year 12 is the final year of high school. Because the final exams are held in the fourth term, and because there are four terms’ worth of content to cover in the year 12 course, year 11 is shortened to three terms. All year 11 students begin year 12 course work in the fourth term. Schools are largely free to choose exactly when they want to cover what content (provided they cover it all, of course) because assessment tasks are set by individual schools; the final year 12 examination is the only thing that every student across the state takes as one.

              and I have noticed you got some strange ideas on it

              Arab Spring doesn’t actually come into it (though it undoubtedly will one day) – the course only covers 1945 to 1996, and mostly deals with Israel and Palestine. And my “funny ideas” only come into effect when Formula 1 is involved, because I don’t believe that the sport should be getting involved in regional politics, and that the many contradictions put forward by fans (ie it is not okay to race in Bahrain because of their human rights abuses, but it is okay to race in China despite their human rights record – to this day I still haven’t heard a reasonable explanation as to why this is acceptable) only make the sport into a hypocritical nightmare. And I find it difficult to get outraged when police fire tear gas into a rowdy mob because this is an acceptable non-lethal riot control tactic used around the world. When there were riots in Vancouver during the 2010 Winter Olympics, the Canadian police used tear gas to disperse the crowd. I didnt see anyone getting worked up about it then.

            4. My GCSE History involved coursework on the Cuban missile crisis. I think History is often poorly taught (in terms of syllabus). It is difficult because the things that stick the most in detail are from secondary (high) school, so teaching you about Tudors and WWII repeatedly makes some sense, but it also means that a lot of people have a complete ignorance of recent history. Things like the Falklands, generally the Cold War, the Gulf War, the Korean War etc. are often mentioned in the media, some of them being fairly important to UK culture, yet they’re things you could probably go your entire life never learning a thing about them. But I guess it is difficult. We only had 3 years of compulsory History in secondary school, which isn’t a lot of time to cover so many topics, and you don’t really want History to teach exclusively about war. I think Modern History should have been at least a GCSE option for me (this was 5-7 years ago), possibly even compulsory in the place of ICT (awfully taught, even if it is an important life skill) or Religion and Ethics (poorly taught, a joke subject).

            5. Interesting PM.

              With the Bahrain thing, that was just a friendly nod. But I think the point where we tend to view things differently in this

              (ie it is not okay to race in Bahrain because of their human rights abuses, but it is okay to race in China despite their human rights record – to this day I still haven’t heard a reasonable explanation as to why this is acceptable) only make the sport into a hypocritical nightmare.

              is actually very little.
              I am convinced, it is not fine to go to China, although its probably not as acute a matter currently, as it is in Bahrain (this was discussed intensively when China was first on the calendar and when the olympics were organised there though). Not to mention that unrest in Bahrain will automatically influence the GP, the country being as small as it is.

    12. Great, the Horse Whisperer is entering Italian politics for 2013 General Elections, so you foreigners should be lucky enough to hear less about 3-cars teams. For us Italians, instead… :(

    13. Has anyone heard rumors about Petrov going to Ferrari :D?

        1. So, he’s going to be Badoer The Second, Keeper of the Holy Third Drive till age limits will force Ferrari to find an appropriate heir.
          Very sad for VP…

          1. I don’t really see that happening. Petrov would have to have some car developing skills, and one his trademarks was that hasn’t got any.

          2. Well, judging by the current rumours and added to who they have on their books, Ferrari are in the fight to beat Renault for most test/3rd drivers in a team.

            They have Fisi (isn’t Gene somewhere in there as well?), now they would have Petrov. And Sutil. And having Kubica test, and both Bianchi and Perez are in the academy, with Ferrari apparently pushing to get Bianchi on the grid in some form.

        2. I guess the background for any “Petrov to Ferrari” rumours is likely to be this – Fiat going into Russia with force, building a new factory for over a billion USD.

          Wasn’t Sberbank (who will do the investing in the factory) one of the companies that Petrov enjoys good links to?

      1. I guess its about the same substance to it as the one discussed above about Sutil having signed an option to replace Massa at Ferrari in 2013.
        The managers playing up their drivers worth by stating how much they can bring to a team and flexing muscles about interest from other teams.
        A clear sign both Sutil and Petrov are probably full on in the battle for either the Williams or Caterham seats or both.

    14. Not necessarily related to any of the news in the round up, but there are a number of sources in the Brazilian press citing “strong rumours” that Bruno Senna has signed for the available seat at Williams and that it should be announced in the next few days.

      If this turns out to be true it’ll mean the end of Barrichello’s 19-year F1 career and that – in theory – there is only one seat available for 2012.

        1. I’d be very happy it this one come out true. I have a soft spot for Bruno.

          1. Me too @Cyclops_PL, as can probably be inferred by my avatar. I started watching F1 in the late 80’s and was a huge Ayrton fan.

            Was truly happy to see the Senna name back in F1 with Bruno. I hope this comes true and that he’s able to grow and perform consistently well next year.

    15. Maybe this already featured in a roundup in the past couple of days (shockingly, I did not read them all in the past week or two!). In case it hasn’t, here’s a link to the first of a series of 4 clips of a recent interview with Martin Withmarsh posted by Peter Windsor (it dates from about the time we found out about Ferrari and Red Bull leaving the FOTA).

    16. I don’t really expect to see Chandhok with a full time seat again.

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