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Chandhok to sign Friday driving deal with Lotus UPDATE (GMM)  Karun Chandhok looks to have definitely secured a role with Team Lotus for 2011. The former HRT driver hinted recently that he is close to becoming the Tony Fernandes-headed team's reserve and Friday driver.

"Nothing is final until you have a contract in your hands," said the Indian.

That contract appears to have now been signed, given Chandhok's sighting early on Wednesday wearing a 'Team Lotus'-branded jacket. The photograph of Chandhok, standing alongside the team's driver development official and ex-Minardi driver Alex Yoong, was posted on Twitter by Fernandes.  Team Lotus' T128 makes its test debut at Valencia on Wednesday morning.

01/23/11 (GMM)  Karun Chandhok has hinted he is close to signing up as reserve driver with Team Lotus for 2011.

The Indian driver made his F1 debut with HRT last year but sponsorship issues meant he was dropped mid-season.

The PTI press agency quoted Chandhok, who turned 27 this month, as suggesting the move to Tony Fernandes' Malaysian team will be "a step up" for him.

"I like the idea of building an Asian team with Asian drivers, mechanics, engineers, PR and marketing people," he said.

"Tony Fernandes is trying hard and that's what he has done with his (airline) Air Asia as well," added Chandhok during a visit to his native India.

He clarified that he has not signed a contract yet.

"Nothing is final until you have a contract in your hands.  It will take about two-three weeks to know.  They are maybe talking to 20 more guys other than me," said Chandhok.

He said he is aiming for a long-term deal in his bid to return to the racing grid.

"I want to be involved in the medium term for two-three years.  It would allow to build the partnership, to grow together.  Stability is what I am looking for.

"I will get to learn (in 2011) even if I drive on just Fridays," added Chandhok.

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