Narain Karthikeyan has admitted that 'survival is the hard thing' for the Hispania Racing team as it looks to make steps forward in Formula 1.

Hispania secured its place in the sport under the guise of Campos Meta 1 at a time it looked like a budget cap would be brought into place only for the plans to eventually be shelved.

Alongside fellow newcomers Lotus and Virgin, Hispania therefore finds itself running to a much smaller budget than the established teams on the grid and Karthikeyan said that meant the hardest thing was surviving and not just making progress on track.

"Survival is a hard thing," he told the Hindustan Times. "It's a small team. We have put together a pretty little car. The major difference against the bigger teams would be that we don't use KERS.

"We didn't get any mileage on the cars in the winter testing, so since then we were basically playing catch up. But it's coming together for us now. If we keep making the upgrades I am sure we will have a good car for the Indian GP (in October)."

Failure to qualify in Australia led to some fans questioning whether Hispania should be part of the F1 grid, especially given the fact that it was only able to complete its car at the scene of the first race for the second year in a row.

However, Indian racer Karthikeyan said the team had an important part to play in the sport even if it finds itself at the back of the field.

"The fact is we (HRT or the lower-tier teams) are never in contention for the title," he said. "But teams like these are equally important for F1. They provide the platform for younger drivers and for drivers like me who are coming back. There's this hierarchy in every sport, but it only makes it more interesting."