CHANDHOK BACK ON TRACK
Indian GP2 ace tests with FMS and I-Sport to evaluate 2009 options
Brackley, England: Karun Chandhok returned to the track for the first time since the final round of the GP2 series in Monza to test with GP2 teams Fisichella Motorsport ( FMS ) as well as his team from the 2008 season, I-sport International.
The Indian who is now based in the UK tested with FMS in Jerez in the south of Spain and was one of the surprises of the day finishing with the 5th best time of the afternoon test. The FMS team is owned by F1 star Giancarlo Fisichella and is backed by the Force India Formula 1 team. The Italian squad haven't had a strong season in 2008 and were surprised with the test results as well as being very pleased with the progress made.
Speaking after the test, Karun said "I got to know Giancarlo and his manager Enrico Zanarini this year since he has been driving for Force India and they asked if there was a chance to do a test together in their GP2 team. I was of course happy to do the test and I am glad that I was able to help them make some progress with the car after what was a difficult year for them. To be ahead of the cars from established top teams like Campos, Racing Engineering and I-Sport for the day was a great encouragement to the guys at FMS and I'm glad that I got to prove I am a front-runner irrespective of the team. They were a very friendly and great bunch of guys to work with."
Later, Karun had the chance to get back into his old car at I-Sport for a test at the Paul Ricard circuit in France. "As is the case every winter, all the teams and drivers are testing different drivers and I-Sport wanted me to do a day to test alongside their other 2009 prospects so we can evaluate things on the same day. Of course the team and I know each other quite well but the test was a good chance to take stock of things after the season has finished. Unfortunately the weather was really bad and the persistent rain meant that the test wasn't very conclusive."
Looking ahead to 2009, Karun said "Obviously I'm looking at various options for teams for 2009 in GP2 and these winter tests have given me some idea of what the best choices are. Together with my sponsors, we've got a shortlist of teams that we think would give me the best chance to fight at the front of the GP2 series in 2009 and now it's a question of negotiating with the teams to find the best solution."