Lotus boss Tony Fernandes says the team is in the process of negotiating a contract extension with Jarno Trulli, despite the Italian being replaced for this weekend's German GP.
The team announced on Thursday that Trulli will be replaced by Karun Chandhok in Germany as the Indian gets a chance to return to racing for the first time since last year's British Grand Prix. Fernandes was thankful to Trulli for accepting the decision, and said the Italian is already in talks about a contract extension for next year.
"I want to take this chance to thank Jarno for helping make Karun's opportunity this weekend possible," said Fernandes. "He has been extremely accommodating in stepping to the side for this race and our commitment to him is unwavering.
"I am delighted to confirm that we are in the process of negotiating an extension to his contract with us and we are all looking forward to unveiling the details of that very soon. 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 utilize his considerable talent to the full. For this weekend he will be on hand to lend his huge experience and support to Karun and I am sure Jarno, Heikki and Karun will do me, the whole team and all our fans very proud indeed."
Technical chief Mike Gascoyne added: "I am delighted that we are able to give Karun a full weekend in the car. He has been a very good addition to our driver lineup and now we are giving him a chance to take the next step in fulfilling his potential.
"Jarno will be stepping aside for him for this race and we will use Karun's feedback over the weekend as a comparison against Jarno's and Heikki's experiences this season with a number of aspects of the car, including the power steering system, to help us keep moving forward in 2011 and beyond.
"I am sure Karun will equip himself very well in this and in his performances in and out of the car all weekend. The whole team is looking forward to helping him get the most out of his time in the cockpit in Germany and it will be good to see him grab this chance and make the most of it."