Sebastien Buemi admits that his impression of F1 has changed following a season competing in the sport in 2009.
Buemi made the move into F1 with Toro Rosso from GP2 and enjoyed a successful debut campaign with four points finishes – including back-to-back top eight results in the final two races of the year.
The Swiss driver is set to stay with the Red Bull-owned team again for the 2010 season as he looks to build on his solid end to the year and he admitted that his view of the sport had altered after becoming part of the paddock.
“After experiencing F1 from the inside, it's slightly different from what I expected,” he told swissinfo
. “I certainly didn't expect to have such a huge improvement in car performance during the season. Another thing is that I expected the weeks to pass more slowly. The season flies by and on race weekends you don't have the time to prepare as much as you'd like.
“In theory you have four hours' free practice time, which seems like a long weekend but in fact you have to start straight away at 100 per cent, to develop the engine as much as possible, or you get left behind, and to select the right tyres. There are so many things to prepare, something people on the outside don't realise.”
Buemi, who admitted that he was disappointed to have seen the team struggle somewhat during the middle of the season before its late revival, added that he didn't feel racing in F1 had changed him as a driver although he conceded that his driving style may need to change when new rules come into play next season banning refuelling.
“I don't think my driving style has changed,” he said. “I'm quite gentle with the car. I've never had big problems with tyre or equipment wear. You have to find a balance between attacking and saving your tyres. This will be especially important next year with the new rules about carrying fuel for the entire race.
“We'll no longer pit for fuel, only to change the tyres. You'll have to set off with an enormous amount of fuel on board which won't be easy. You'll have to get used to huge wear on the brakes and tyres. It will be different driving a car that weighs 800 kg rather 650. It won't be easy; we might have to change our driving styles.”