Chandhok not expecting to match rivals

Karun Chandhok says he is still expecting his HRT team to be far from its direct rivals at this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix

Chandhok not expecting to match rivals

The Indian driver gave his Spanish team its first race finish in Australia last weekend, after coming home in 14th position, four laps down.

Despite being ahead of Virgin in terms of race finishes, Chandhok admits his team still has work to do before it can reach the pace of the other newcomers and is not expecting to be a match for them at Sepang.

"Not in normal circumstances. To come from four seconds to 1.8 is one step, but to go for 1.8 to zero is a very hard step to make," Chandhok told AUTOSPORT. "If we can bring that to, say, 1.1/1.2 to the best of the new teams then...

The rookie said his team's main priority remains to be able to run reliably, but concedes it will have to begin developing its car soon too.

"We have to get two cars to the finish, because I've finished but we've had a few issues and the car's pace wasn't great," he added. "We made safe choices also. We ran the prime tyre, which is too hard. We should have gone with the option because we lost tyre temperature so much, and I had to go offline to let people past, and the water, and the tyres cooled off, so it was not a very good situation.

"But these are things we didn't know. We had no idea was the option tyre was like on a long rung before we didn't get a chance to do it. There's a lot of things within the Melbourne weekend which could have been and should have been a lot better.

"The first step, for this weekend and Shanghai is still to get both cars reliable in every session and to the end of the race."

He added: "In some ways, we are ahead of Virgin, because they are yet to finish a race. In terms of performance they are definitely of course ahead of us, but we'll chip away at it. The big question really is internal updates. I'm sure Mike Gascoyne's got some ideas for Barcelona and he'll be chucking updates as soon as we get back to Europe. And Virgin will have some updates too.

"We'll need to do something. We'll have to join the F1 development race. Right now I think we are respectable. In the time that we've had and the miles that we've done, generally the feeling is that we are doing a respectable job given the circumstances. But to carry doing a respectable job we are going to have to start cracking on developments."

Chandhok is also expecting a difficult race at Sepang because of the weather conditions, although he is hopeful that living in Madras will help him made things easier.

"It's going to be very tough. I don't know if I'm in a lucky position because I grew up in Madras, I still live there over the winter, and it's exactly the same as KL. The temperature here today is the same as in my house in Madras and the humidity too. It's still going to be very hard. It could be a real test."

shares
comments
Outboard mirrors to be banned

Previous article

Outboard mirrors to be banned

Next article

Kubica: Renault not back on pace yet

Kubica: Renault not back on pace yet
Load comments
Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Plus

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. Kevin Turner looked back at the life of Switzerland's first F1 winner on the 50th anniversary of his death

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Plus

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Plus

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz Jr. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Plus

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding 
into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Plus

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers Plus

Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021