When you look back at where you were last year having just left Ferrari, and now where you are scoring a podium with Williams at Monza; how big a change has it been?

For sure this time last year I didn't have a drive for this year. I was not even speaking to Williams. Actually I got the information at this race [in Singapore] that maybe Williams was interested in talking to me, so after this race I started working on that. But before this race I had no drive, I was not even so motivated to carry on if I was not in a team that gives me happiness and a car to be competitive, a team that I can work with to see improvement.

So I was not really in good shape this time last year. It's amazing to see what's happened and the team I chose, a team that wants to have me inside. Everything has worked out in a perfect way. I took a team that was one of the worst last year and is one of the best this year. There is still a lot to improve, a lot to make better and a lot to make the team more complete as well. I'm so happy, so motivated, so enjoying my time...

Things change very quickly in Formula One. I was racing for the most famous team as well, so you see that sometimes things change and you think you are going backwards but you're actually going two steps forwards.

What's the atmosphere like here at Williams compared to Ferrari? What's different about it and what do you like about it?

For sure working with Ferrari is a great pleasure. It's a great team, it's a great experience and it's a great dream as well to be there. But I think what I feel to come to this team and to move here is that everything is more relaxed and everything is more like racing. Ferrari is very political, at Ferrari everything is difficult. So if you win you have a lot of pressure and if you don't win you have even more. There is more pressure about everything and I think that's the difference; here everything is a lot more relaxed. Sometimes I am putting on the most pressure just to try to see if things can be better quicker and trying to see if things can improve quicker. But I think that's the difference.

I interviewed Rob [Smedley] in Spa and he said about the changes he had noticed in you. He said you were more relaxed as a person as well as a driver, do you feel that's the case? And is his presence helpful in a way, having someone familiar who knows you so well in the team?

Well I feel happier because I'm having a great time. Everything for us as a driver is related to our working, on your work and how you feel. It helps how you feel, how happy you are; also for your private life. I have a fantastic life - I can't complain - but still I feel more relaxed, working with people I really enjoy working with.

I think Rob is a really important key inside this team as well, so I always enjoy working with him because apart from working together sometimes we discuss other things. But I think it's always nice to work with people you enjoy working with and you like, not just with him but I also really like Pat [Symonds]. For me he is an incredible professional. All the changes that happened within this team, a lot of it is related to him as well. There are so many other engineers and other people who have been very important for this team and everything is under Pat. He's the one who decides so many things that he is really intelligent and you understand that he really knows what he's talking about.

A lot of the focus here seems to be about the team - where it will finish in the constructors' etc. - and it seems you and Valtteri [Bottas] really work well together. Is that the case or is it still fiercely competitive behind the scenes?

I think we're doing a great job together. For sure I lost a lot of opportunities and a lot of points this year with a lot of crazy things that happened. So I'm really disappointed by what happened because maybe now we would have been very close to Red Bull, maybe fighting in a good way with them if I didn't lose as many points as I lost counting so many things that happened.

But I think we're working very well together, we have some very similar ideas, what I feel in the car and he feels in the car. Sometimes I say something that he felt the same and he understands what I'm talking about. So I think the message for the team and the working is really good. I think if you see how much the team has grown from the first test until now, it is a lot. It's really interesting to see that everything improves also because we gave the right message about so many things. So that's why I think we are doing a good job together.

You're both pushing the team forward; having come from such a big team does it feel like Williams has the potential to go to the level to fight with Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull for a number of years? Or is this year the biggest chance?

I think so, I think definitely. Mercedes won't be easy also next year because they have an incredible car and I'm sure they will not change the car. They will keep the same philosophy for next year and they will just improve things, it will just be an evolution of what they have now. So I think Mercedes will have an incredible car anyway next year. I don't know how incredible the job will be that we do from now until the first race [of 2015] because it will have to be a big step.

So I have no idea if we will be able to fight with Mercedes next year for the moment, but all of the others yes, 100%. We need to understand what we can do to catch Mercedes because the target is always to be first, but it won't be easy, definitely.

You already had a contract for next year but you were announced as remaining with the team in Monza. Do you see this as the final team of your F1 career?

I don't know how long I will stay here, so I think maybe it can be my last team, definitely... I think it will be my last team. I don't know when it will happen - the time to stop - but for sure I am a happy man and I want to be racing as long as I am at the top level. I hope I will stay for another two or three years or maybe more but I don't know. I'm not thinking too far ahead, I'm enjoying my time now and I hope I can still enjoy myself for another two or three years and then maybe it's the time.

Williams is aiming to challenge for titles but did you feel that 2008 was your big opportunity and now you've moved here it's suddenly opened your eyes that there could be another one?

In Formula One it's impossible to say it was my last opportunity because things change very quickly. You can see what has happened from last year to this year; I didn't expect the team to be as competitive as we have been. Maybe it's not enough to win the championship but things change very quickly so maybe for whatever reason you are there on top for next year and maybe you have the chance to fight for the championship. Until you stop it's difficult to be sure of that, so I will hope I can have another chance.

What would you say the team needs to improve on most for next year to really make that step? What is it lacking?

Definitely we can improve from the aerodynamic point of view. Let's say next year that the other engines will get closer, so we need to have a better car on the other side. So I think aerodynamic is an important point but also we have so many things from a mechanical point of view that we can improve and we can change and I'm sure we understand some direction that we can improve the car as well. Maybe this is the two important things and I hope Mercedes keeps doing the incredible job it has been doing to also have some margin next year!

You sound like a team leader when you speak about where the team can improve; is that a role that you relish? Is it something you missed at Ferrari?

You feel better. I don't see myself as a leader, I just feel that everything I say, people are listening and people are doing. It needs to be like that and it's something I lost a little bit at Ferrari. For me this is important, not because you are having better or worse results than your team-mate but because it's important for the team anyway. So I feel that the team really, really respects me and supports me at the top level, and I think that's important for the team, not just to help me but if they help me they help the team. It's not that the team does some things differently for me or for Valtteri, it's just something that they are doing which is best for the team and they listened to everybody. I think that's important.

Is that something that Ferrari didn't do?

It's something that they changed, a little bit. Yeah.