Team Lotus is giving Karun Chandhok his first F1 start since last year’s British GP. The Indian driver will take Jarno Trulli’s place alongside Heikki Kovalainen at the Nurburgring. Chandhok is Team Lotus’ reserve driver, and has been behind the wheel of the T128 in practice sessions at Australia, Turkey, Valencia and Silverstone this year. This arrangement is a one-race affair.

Team boss Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said: “I want to take this chance to thank Jarno for helping make Karun’s opportunity this weekend possible. He has been extremely accommodating in stepping to the side for this race and our commitment to him is unwavering.”

The AirAsia chief brushed off talks that Trulli will be permanently replaced. “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 utilise 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,” Fernandes added.

Chandhok was 1.5 seconds off Heikki’s pace in Friday practice.