Karun Chandhok encouraged by practice pace for Lotus in Korea

Karun Chandhok was happy with his pace during Friday morning free practice ahead of the Korean Grand Prix despite limited running

Karun Chandhok encouraged by practice pace for Lotus in Korea

The Team Lotus driver, who took over Jarno Trulli's car for the 90-minute session, completed only 11 laps because of the wet conditions. He ended the session 11th overall, just 3.566 seconds off pacesetter Michael Schumacher.

"The pace was good," Chandhok told AUTOSPORT. "It you look at the time delta, it was about right for where we are. And it was on a circuit that I don't know.

"Last time I came here [for a demonstration run a month before last year's inaugural Korean Grand Prix] there were no kerbs, there were cranes parked on the circuit and only two layers of asphalt, so it's effectively a new circuit for me.

"After only seven [timed] laps, the team seemed quite happy. The grip level is really quite low and there was a lot of standing water, so it was tricky. But I'm pleased with the job that I did, ending up ahead of both of the Williams drivers."

Chandhok's performance comes off the back of encouraging Friday morning outings at Spa, Monza and Suzuka, during which he has been able to build his confidence in the car.

He has now driven during eight free practice sessions in 2011, as well as contesting the entire German Grand Prix weekend in place of Trulli.

"The last few Fridays have been encouraging," he said. "It gives me a lot of confidence compared to where I was a few months ago."

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