Indian racer Karun Chandhok, addressing his first official FIA press conference ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix, said on Thursday that he was coming to grips with driving a Formula 1 car and described the process of fitting in as a “steep learning curve.”

“There is so much to learn,” he said, “I had never been lapped in my life in any of the younger series I competed in.

“We have to learn how to get more down force level. Mechanically, the first step is to get the car to finish.”

Karun, who drives for Hispania Racing, retired after the first lap in the season-opening Bahrain GP, and finished 14th in the Melbourne GP.

He said lack of pre-season testing was something that dogged his team. “Honestly, I have never faced a situation where the driver comes from another series to qualifying with no testing… so we need a bit of time to get to where the other teams are after their six weeks of pre-season testing.”

Season's goals

On his goals for the season and the upcoming Malaysian race, Karun said, “This weekend we have to be in a position to chase either Lotus or Virgin. I am not here to be on the back of the grid for the remainder of the season. But it is clear, the first half will be tough, the second should be better. Wait and see, we are trying to narrow the gap.”

Qualification for the Malaysian GP begins on April 3.

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