Karun Chandhok is hoping to dovetail a third driver role in Formula 1 next season with a sports car campaign in the new World Endurance Championship.
The Indian, who appeared nine times as a Friday driver for Team Lotus this year as well as racing in Germany, accepts that it is very unlikely he will land a full-time cockpit for 2012. However, he is hoping to secure another third driver role, possibly for the renamed Caterham team, as well as racing in sports cars.
"There are some opportunities to continue as a Friday driver and obviously I still want to be in F1," Chandhok. "To get a race seat in F1 is almost impossible for 2012, so I don't think that's going to happen. But it's very clear that I must go racing again, because standing on the sidelines for another year can't be good for me. That will also help me if there are F1 race opportunities in the future.
"My target is still F1, but the new World Endurance Championship is very interesting. There's only one clash with the F1 calendar, so I can keep my hand in there doing a bunch of Fridays and then hopefully combine it with an LMP1 program.
"Competing at Le Mans is one of those boxes that you have to tick. I've raced at Monaco, Macau, Spa and Silverstone, and Le Mans is another one on that must-do list."
Chandhok is exploring various opportunities in sports cars, and would be willing to consider driving for a privateer team. This would allow him to build up experience in that type of racing, after spending the majority of his career in single-seaters.
"I'm sensible enough to know that I've got a lot to learn about sports car racing," he said. "Everyone would love to start with a works team, but they already have strong driver lineups.
"It's such a different type of racing. I'd love to do LMP1 with good experienced team-mates and a good team that I can learn from. There are a lot of options." "Between the i1 series, sports cars and a third driver role, there should be enough to keep me busy."