Charlie Kimball admitted Carlin’s first race in the IndyCar Series was disappointing because he believes the team should be fighting for wins.
Kimball and team-mate Max Chilton were classified 19th and 20th in St Petersburg, finishing two and three laps down respectively.
The former Chip Ganassi Racing drivers were caught up in incidents, with Kimball going off the track at Turn 13 and Chilton causing a late full-course yellow after he collided with a tyre wall and stalled at Turn 9.
While Kimball says Carlin will have learned huge amounts from its first race, he reckons it was still a difficult weekend.
“Honestly it was a disappointing day results-wise,” he said.
“At Carlin, you don’t come to the track to finish 19th and 20th, our goal really is to be fighting for race wins and podiums.
“We came into this weekend with limited knowledge and experience in the series, but I’d say we probably doubled or even tripled our knowledge on the Indycars in St Pete.”
He is keen to use the gap until the next race at Phoenix in April “getting with the engineers, learning, digesting, and figuring out what we need to do in the future”.
Kimball added: “We’ve got a couple of tests before the Phoenix race and we tested there a few weeks back, so I know that we’ll be more competitive at the next race and continue to work our way forward.”
Chilton was more positive than his team-mate, suggesting it was a competent showing for the team.
An inability to keep his car’s tyres up to temperature amid a plethora of full course yellows stymied his race.
“When the tyres were in, we had good performance so we made gains throughout the weekend,” said Chilton.
“Considering this was Carlin’s first IndyCar race, I’d say it wasn’t a bad showing at all.
“We definitely have work to do and we aren’t where we want to be yet.
“I think all-around we did a good job and we’ll make sure we’re ready for Phoenix.”