In your first season in F1 racing at the back is obviously not something you dream of, but is it something you've enjoyed? Something you've learned from? What's the overriding emotion?

To me it's been a very tough season. When we signed the deal with Caterham in the winter and had the first meetings with them and started to work, we all - the whole team - hoped to make that step to be in the lower midfield at least and mix it up a bit with the teams ahead. Obviously quite quickly we realised that was not going to happen.

So that made it a lot more tough, but still for me coming from Sweden - from a normal family in Sweden - to be able to reach all the way to Formula One and to compete in Formula One has been amazing, you know? The support I've had back in Sweden has been amazing as well. So for me, even though we've been racing at the back and it's been tough at times I've enjoyed every second of it I would say.

What has been the biggest surprise for you this season?

I think the new regulations have made life a bit difficult. The cars are a lot more difficult than I thought a Formula One car would be with all the grip and everything they have. I think this year with the combination of the power unit and the tyres that Pirelli has brought have made it quite tricky to drive.

I think we've also seen this year a lot more drivers making mistakes on their own. Normally you don't see a Formula One driver just spinning off but this year we've seen more of that just because of the cars with the BBW systems and the turbo engines and all this stuff have made it more difficult to be on the edge really. For me a GP2 car was more predictable, you always knew what the car was going to do, whereas - at least the car I've been driving - it's been more difficult to understand the car in different scenarios.

So do you ever get to push at 100% or do you always have to keep something in reserve?

For me I've sort of struggled to drive the car the way I used to drive a car, so I've had to change the driving style quite a bit to try to suit the car. That's not been optimal because you have a way of driving and then you need to change that, which is not good. But that's the way the car is, and then I don't think I've shown my full potential. Of course I think I can do a lot better.

Is that a case of learning a new formula or have you just underperformed?

It's about learning when you get in to Formula One. I think Formula One is extremely difficult, obviously, and it's the best drivers in the world so it's not easy to jump in and be on your top level immediately. I think it takes some time to get in to it but I've also shown some really strong performances like Monaco; 11th place there was a real highlight for me. It's all ups and downs but it's been a bit too much up and down when I look back at my season. I would have liked it to be a bit more consistent and that's something I'm working on. Hopefully now for the last six races my performances will be a bit more consistent and on the better side.

Do you think your Monaco performance gets overlooked perhaps because Jules Bianchi finished ninth? Neither team had finished 11th before that weekend...

It's maybe a bit overlooked but to be honest at first when I saw the results after Monaco I was like "Oh no ..." he finished ninth and that's our main competitor. But now looking back at it, even though there were a lot of problems in the race and people retiring I think I still did a very, very strong race and my pace was very strong.

So I have to look at myself as well and that's something that I've learned this year. You cannot look too much at the result, you need to also look at yourself and what you've done, how you have maximised the machinery that you have. I think that's something that I did in Monaco.

Do you think there is more pressure on drivers at the back of the grid than those nearer the front? As issues for Kamui [Kobayashi] and Max [Chilton] show, things can change very quickly...

I don't know but I think it's easier for people to look down on us because we're obviously driving the slowest cars on the grid and they're the most difficult cars to drive. We are struggling to keep up with the other guys, it's as simple as that, and it's easier for people to make opinions on that.

Do you look at what other drivers do on the grid and think you can emulate them? Maybe what you could do in another team or another year?

Yeah but I think it's all about trying to get in to Formula One and trying to prove yourself. You have seen many drivers starting in smaller teams. Fernando is the best example for that, starting in Minardi and look at him now. So I think it's still early days for me and I still have the potential to be very good in Formula One.

How's next year panning out for you at the moment? We've heard Bernie Ecclestone mention eight three-car teams; are you working just with this team or talking to other teams?

For me personally I haven't got involved with anything at all but I know that my management and my people around me are pushing very hard to make me stay in Formula One for next year. That's their sole aim at the moment; to make sure that I'm on the grid for next year.

So that's what we're working towards and that's all I know! They've told me "Do your thing, do a strong end to the season but we are pushing 100% to make you stay in Formula One". I think that's speaking with Caterham and also looking at other opportunities of course. I've enjoyed my year with Caterham, I get on really well with the people so I think we keep all options open but 100% focus is to stay in F1.

Which do you think will benefit you more; another year with Caterham and that consistency to push on or a quicker car to show your potential in?

I think it's difficult to stay, but I think it wouldn't hurt to stay another year in Caterham because that would be with a year's stability, you know what to expect and you know all the tracks then. So it wouldn't be a bad thing, but of course you need to look at the other option as well.

The other side of garage has almost been in a bit of turmoil the last few races; how difficult is that when you're trying to focus on delivering and there's so much attention over there?

It hasn't been a problem really. I know my position and I've just been focusing on preparing myself for every race and making sure I'm ready to perform at my best. Of course I've seen that things have been happening on the other side of the garage and drivers have been out and in but I haven't really put much energy in to that because I guess I've learned this year to focus more on myself and my own performance. What other guys do is something is nothing I can do anything about.

What areas have you been focusing on? Are there any areas where you feel you need to improve as an F1 driver which perhaps weren't so obvious before?

One thing that has been quite obvious compared to Kamui has been my qualifying performance. Qualifying has been one of my strongest points all my career. Like in Macau qualifying on pole and then in GP2 last year I had three pole positions, so it's been something that I've been thinking is one of my top things as a driver and then this year Kamui has just been able to have the edge on me in qualifying.

I think it's a combination of understanding the tyres and the brakes and everything to make it ready for that one qualifying lap. It's something that maybe I wasn't expecting to struggle as much as I have been doing; in the races I have been more close to Kamui on race pace but for sure qualifying is something that I've been working at and I need to continue working at to be more at a better level there.

Some drivers seem content just getting in to F1 and others are desperate to win titles, do you have any dreams of what you want to achieve in the sport?

At the moment I want to establish myself as a Formula One driver. That's my number one goal and to make sure that I'm staying here for many years, but then of course as a racer you want to win. There's no question about that, so that's the ultimate goal.

Do you think drivers nowadays can go fully up the rungs of the ladder from this point?

I think if you look at Caterham and Marussia there have not been many drivers moving up from those teams so it's not easy, but I think it's very difficult to say you need to do it a specific way. I think everyone can find a different way to be successful. So it's a very difficult question but I think the future will tell what's the right thing to do.

From what you've learned this year, what's one thing you'd like to change about F1?

I think cost cutting would have been good for Formula One. I think that would have made the field more even and I think also for the fans it would be more exciting to see more teams evenly matched, even though the racing I think this year has been great in Formula One in general.



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