Adrian Sutil has hit back at the doubters who have questioned whether he is the right choice for Force India in the wake of his conviction for grievous bodily harm last year.
The German has been given another chance in Formula 1 by Force India, beating Jules Bianchi to the seat alongside Paul di Resta for 2013.
Sutil's conviction has made Force India's choice a controversial one, but he does not think the incident should be a factor in F1 decisions.
"Everyone can make mistakes in life," said Sutil, who will drive for the team for the next two days in Barcelona this week. "If you never make mistakes, you will never grow. I don't think there is a single person here who never made a mistake. My one was maybe a different one and was very public, but the other ones are probably even worse but no one is even talking about it.
"Whenever anyone is doing something wrong, me or someone else, I always give him the opportunity to show that he is still a good person and I will give him a second chance. I see it very similar here. Of course it is a tough business, but no one is perfect and that is why life is an adventure."
Sutil says that he and his management team have had assurances that there will be no difficulties in obtaining visas for races this year in the wake of his conviction. Rather than approach his return to F1 with caution, Sutil says he is coming back to the sport with loftier ambitions, and will not settle for just points finishes with Force India.
"I could see some good progress [at the team] this year already in the first test," he said. "There are new people in the team, new structures and everywhere is a little bit better. It is nice to see that. We are still a small team, but I am sure we can have a very good season. My targets are very high.
"I am not here to race for fifth or sixth position. I want to go on the podium. I have raised my goals. I want to win in the future and be one of the best drivers in the world in F1."