Karthikeyan quiet amid HRT contract breach rumors UPDATE #2
(GMM) HRT may be in breach of contract for sidelining Narain Karthikeyan ahead of the British grand prix.
India Today claims the 34-year-old has made both of his scheduled sponsor payments to the Spanish team, guaranteeing his race seat at least until the end of July.
The report claims Hispania team figures are saying Karthikeyan is "still part of the team", despite the fact Daniel Ricciardo has replaced him at Silverstone off the back of a driver deal with Red Bull.
Karthikeyan as well as HRT, who are still running 'Tata' sponsor signage on the F111 car, have not responded to requests for comment.
India Today suggests the driver could be keeping quiet at the expectation of returning to the cockpit in Singapore, a month before India's inaugural grand prix.
The other HRT driver is Vitantonio Liuzzi, who on Saturday qualified half a second ahead of Australian rookie Ricciardo at Silverstone. 07/07/11 We are downgrading this rumor to 'speculation' as we hear from our inside sources at Silverstone that the change has nothing to do with sponsorship monies.
07/07/11 (GMM) Sponsor issues reportedly led to Narain Karthikeyan losing his seat at HRT.
The Indian driver's main backers, Tata and Base batteries, are still showing at the Spanish team's website. Hispania has been contacted for comment.
At Silverstone, HRT regular Vitantonio Liuzzi will for the first time share the garage with Australian rookie Daniel Ricciardo, as part of a new driver deal with Red Bull Racing.
Karthikeyan is officially still on the books as an official driver, amid rumors he might return for the inaugural Indian grand prix in October.
His sponsors Speed, Tata and Base are still showing on his official website, although the Italian magazine Italiaracing claims "economic difficulties" meant Karthikeyan lost his seat.
"When he learned of the economic difficulties of Narain Karthikeyan, Helmut Marko did not think for a second and reached the agreement with Hispania for the debut of his young protege (Ricciardo)," read the report.
Karthikeyan was not available a few days ago, and his management has once again been contacted for comment.