Hispania Racing drop Karun Chandhok for German GP‎

By Gareth Llewellyn
Karun Chandhok(Photo: Nelson Wu)

Karun Chandhok

Hispania Racing have dropped Karun Chandhok for the German Grand Prix a week after team-mate Bruno Senna went the same way.

The Indian driver will be replaced by Sakon Yamamoto in Hockenheim, the man who took Senna’s seat for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone last week.

Initial rumours from the paddock suggested an e-mail critical of HRT team boss Colin Kolles from Senna was to blame for the Brazilian’s omission, but a late statement at the race from Kolles revealed Senna would return, with many pundits saying he was back for the rest of the season.

But there was scepticism over whether he would be back for every race, with HRT also having Yamamoto and Red Bull’s Christian Klien on their books, and short of money to fulfil their obligations.

While most expect that Senna will compete in most of the races until the end of the season, there will be times when he, like Chandhok, will have to step aside as the other drivers can provide a welcome cash boost to the team through personal sponsors.

There is also a very real threat that one or both drivers could be dropped in favour of replacements who can bring more money to the team through sponsors.

Yamamoto is one driver who is financially well-backed, which would explain his inclusion at Silverstone and Hockenheim, while Mexican GP2 driver Sergio Pérez, a target for Virgin Racing next season, and backed by billionaire Telmex owner Carlos Slim, could also be in line for a drive.

Hispania have been the slowest of the new teams so far this season as a lack of funding has prevented them from developing their car as much as fellow new boys Lotus or Virgin Racing.

The team were rumoured to have purchased parts from Toyota’s old chassis, but with a lack of available funds, it is not clear how much truth is in the story. Regularly bringing in well-backed drivers could go some way to remedying that.

Indeed, it has been suggested that Yamamoto’s inclusion over the two races would pay for significant parts to aid the development of the team’s 2011 car.

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