Fans of unemployed Indian racer Karun Chandhok – and there are plenty of you out there – will be rather delighted to know that the man from Chennai is closing in on a deal that will keep him in the F1 fold.

Having long been linked with a reserve role with Team ‘Green’ Lotus, Karun was spotted in Valencia today as Tony Fernandes’ outfit began testing their new Renault-powered T128. Wearing Team Lotus clobber, the 27-year-old was in conversation with Fernandes the team’s tech boss Mike Gascoyne.

Credit: HRT F1

And, speaking to Autosport about Chandhok’s presence at the test, Fernandes’ admitted he was keen on the adding the former Hispania man to his operation.

“We want a reserve driver who is going to be good for us, and Karun is definitely on the list. For me, I want it to be a team effort, and I want the team to feel comfortable.

“I want everyone to feel good about it, and I think the reserve driver has to contribute. Today is for him to see what the team is like.

“I think he likes us a lot, and he would! I want the team to also gel with him. He is a good lad; he can add a lot of value to the team. I would like Karun to be involved with us in some way shape or form.”

Chandhok meanwhile was coy about the situation, but admitted talks were under way.

“At the moment I am still in discussions,” said Karun. “Nothing is confirmed yet, and I have come here to see how the team works and to have a catch up with Tony Fernandes and Mike Gascoyne.

“Of course it would be nice to have a continued role in F1, but there is nothing finalised yet.”

A reserve role for Chandhok would provide real hope of an eventual race deal with the team, with Jarno Trulli seen by many as entering his swansong F1 campaign in 2011.