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Mallya promises to consider Karun

New Delhi: Karun Chandhok’s fledgling Formula One career received a shot in the arm with Force India part-owner Vijay Mallya promising to consider the youngster for a test driver’s role, if not the race driver’s seat, in 2009.

Mallya made it clear that Karun remains on the F-1 radar and if he does well in the GP2 series this year, the youngster might end up landing the race diver’s job straightway in 2009.

“I know his family for a long, long time and he is like my son. He himself felt he needs to spend one more year in the GP2, where he is doing quite well, before he is ready for F-1” Mallya told PTI from Malaysia.

Mallya’s words are sure to come as music to Karun’s ears and he seems on the right track to achieve his F-1 dream.

Reward

After his maiden GP2 series victory with Durango Corse in Belgium, Karun has been rewarded with a test driver’s role with the Red Bull F-1 team. The youngster has also left the mid-field Durango to join top-flight iSports International, which won the championship previous season. It was a significant step in the right direction, considering iSport driver Timo Glock won the championship and was confirmed by Toyota for the next season.

In the past, drivers who made the GP2 to F-1 transition include Nico Roseberg, who joined Williams, and 2006 winner Lewis Hamilton who was roped in by McLaren. Similarly, doing well on GP2 would open the F-1 door for the 23-year-old Indian driver, said Mallya.

“A new GP2 season beckons him and if he manages to do well — and he would be driving for a top team this time — we might consider him for the race driver’s role itself,” Mallya said.

“I can assure you that he would be considered at least for the test driver’s role,” he added.

Since Mallya joined hands with the Mol family and took over Spyker, now christened ‘Force India’, he has provided a reasonable budget to the team and set it a target of a podium finish when India hosts its maiden GP in 2010. — PTI

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