NURBURGRING, Germany, July 21, 2011 (AFP) - Italian veteran Jarno Trulli has been replaced by Indian reserve Karun Chandhok to race for Lotus in this weekend's German Grand Prix.
In a statement on Thursday, the team said they wanted to give Chandhok a chance to prove himself with Trulli, 37, having struggled with the Lotus car this year.
Trulli is expected to keep his seat with Lotus for the Hungarian Grand Prix at the end of the month when the team plan to introduce a new power-steering system.
He has complained all season that he disliked the steering on his car because it failed to give him any 'sense of feel,' but Lotus boss Tony Fernandes said he still plans to retain Trulli's services for next year.
He said: "He is a key member of our team and I hope that we can give him a car as soon as possible that allows him to utilise his very large talents to the full.
"For this weekend he will be on hand to lend his considerable experience and support to Karun and I am sure Jarno, Heikki (Kovalainen) and Karun will do me, the whole team and all our fans very proud indeed."
Trulli, who has started 244 Grands Prix in a career of one win and four pole positions, said: "It's great that the team is true to its word of helping develop young talent -- particularly from parts of the world where it is even harder to break through to the top.
"I'll be there to give him guidance and assistance, in and out of the car." Chandhok's elevation from test and reserve driver also signalled that he is likely to be chosen ahead of Trulli to race at the inaugural Indian Grand Prix in October.
Chandhok, 27, raced last year for the Hispania team for half a season until the British Grand Prix when he was dropped.
He said: "I am approaching the weekend in a very realistic frame of mind. I will be doing my best to push and to make sure I learn as much as possible. "I know there will be millions of Indian fans, and Team Lotus fans around the world, who will be behind me and the whole team, so I will do the best I can to give them something to cheer for."