As the Formula Renault 3.5 season draws to a close at the Circuit de Catalunya, Sergey Sirotkin reveals that his season was not affected by his recent connections to Sauber, despite the extensive media coverage this has garnered.

"I don't feel any pressure, it was the opposite. I have enjoyed learning about the higher stages of motor racing. I am proving a lot that I am stronger in myself as a driver", he told

As for whether he felt he was ready for F1 next year, he admitted that it could still take some time if he is to reach the standards required of him. The Russian first drove a Sauber three weeks ago during a demonstration lap at the Sochi Circuit.

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"Our preparation programme has just started so I am not quite ready but by the time the first race comes, I will be ready, I know that. There is nothing I am afraid of; I am looking forward to it", he continued.

"It's a bit different driving an F1 car. I need to get used to the power steering. It took a bit of time but we were happy with our lap times at Sochi. The minimum speeds in the corner are very similar to my current car. The step that needs to be made is not surprising, it is to be expected like any other championship", he said.

Despite his insistent that the Sauber deal has only benefited his season, he did confess that his racing did not go as planned. The teenager was frank about his disappointment following the final race of the season.

"This was the worst season of my life; I was very unlucky. Every time I would say, 'tomorrow next time', we always say this but it never comes. Unfortunately I am really unhappy with it. We had some very bright races but so many bad things happen. We are really not happy", Sirotkin added post race.

"I am very much disappointed. We thought it could be good. It's all been bad luck".

By Katie Grimmett