Karun, Hispania aim to be best among rookies
Sepang: Hispania driver Karun Chandhok on Thursday asserted he has not joined Formula One to bring up the rear and said the team's target was to finish the season as best of the three rookie outfits.
"I'm not here to drive around at the back of the grid for the rest of the season," Karun told reporters ahead of Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix.
"I wouldn't have signed with (Hispania team principal) Colin (Kolles) and the team if I didn't think there was potential to at least fight with the other new teams," said the Indian.
Karun admitted the gap was too big between the existing and the new teams but felt Hispania can at least hope to pip Lotus and Virgin to finish the season as the best rookie outfit.
"The first half of the season is going to be tough but hopefully we can start to fight to be best of the new teams in the second half of the season.
"Relative to the existing teams, I think the gap is quite big at the moment. You look at qualifying in Melbourne, it was nearly two seconds between the top of the new teams and the last of the existing teams. That's quite a big gap to bridge," said the driver from Chennai.
"Whether that gap will be closed during the season we shall wait and see. I doubt it but we can certainly try and close the gap and try, and I hope to be the best of the new teams in the second half of the season," Karun said.
"At the moment I think it's highly unlikely that we will be in a position to chase either Lotus or Virgin in terms of performance. But Rome wasn't built in a day," added the driver.