When you came in to Toro Rosso at the start of the year, did you set yourself any goals? Any targets?

Not really. There is not much you can do by setting a target. You just have to come and try to do your best. You have to know your capabilities and start with them and know how to improve them. This was my case, I started with what I knew how to do and then it all came together. Now with experience it all feels more controlled I would say.

Did you feel the pressure was off in some ways as you were going up against Jean-Eric Vergne? Someone who had impressed here already...

In a way I think it's always the best way to impress because everybody knew that JEV was in his third year, he has a lot of experience so we could almost say he has reached the peak of his qualy pace and in some places his race pace. He's also very talented and a very strong driver so in some way it gave me a better possibility for me to show the potential but in the same way there is always a big risk that he would just destroy me! But it didn't happen, so it's alright.

What does a driver think ahead of his first year in F1? Are there doubts in your mind?

It's hard to say. Of course some little thoughts might come through and then before you go to the track, before the season starts, you always consider these kind of things. Then once you find the limit, once you do a lap and your engineer says 'Ah, you're actually very high up the order' you think 'Oh, it's all going well'. My actual limit of what I'm doing is really good, so I should keep doing what I'm doing and it should get better and better because of experience.

What's been the biggest lesson you've had to learn this year?

Race pace for example wasn't an easy one because it's a lot longer race than it is in GP3 and takes some time to have full control of the race pace. These were things that came more together during the year. They had to come together, at the beginning it was a little bit harder but I managed better and better, so I would highlight this one. Other lessons there is nothing in particular. I was always honest with the people around me; whenever I did a shit qualifying lap I always admitted it and so on.

At what stage this year did you feel like you were in the frame for a Red Bull drive if that chance came? When did you feel you moved ahead of JEV in that pecking order?

After a few races I understood that. There was nothing obvious that Sebastian [Vettel] was leaving of course, but I anyway kept on pushing. I said I want to always be in the best shape possible, to always let people know. Every year is very important in your career. It was like this last year and now this year is the same. So I just kept pushing, I knew that there might be a chance but everything came round unexpectedly. In the end I was just doing my job, not thinking too much about this, but I always kept my mind open for this, let's put it this way.

Has anything changed since you were named a Red Bull driver?

Not really, I can't say anything massively has changed because at the moment we are still racing and the announcement came in a race weekend. So I didn't even feel it so much because I am so focused, sometimes I'm not thinking about anything else I'm just focused on my actual job. I think this is a nice thing because it just shows I am giving my best to Toro Rosso. I'm a professional driver so I will just give my best to the team I am racing for, so I think it will start after the end of the season.

Does it feel like it has not really sunk in yet?

Probably not. But in the end I'm not sure if it has not yet sunk in or if I've already completely fully realised. So one of these two options!

Christian Horner says you've been able to fly under the radar a bit with everyone focusing on where Sebastian is going and a bit less on the pressure you'll be under when you move to Red Bull. Do you feel the same way?

Of course they will be watching closely but in the end they are also the same people who were watching me very closely at the beginning of the season. I would even say that in the middle of the season they stopped watching me so closely because the first races went fine and they said 'Ah, he's alright'.

Now, of course I hope we can fight for high positions. I will do my best to do that and also automatically when you are in that position people will be watching very closely. But I've been through my whole career dealing with these sorts of things and I think I should be fine.

What is your relationship with Christian Horner like? Obviously you raced for Arden in GP3...

It's a good relationship. We had a few meetings a few times especially when I was racing for his team in GP3 and also this year a few times in the paddock. We kept talking a little bit and I think we have a good professional relationship; that's what it needs to be in F1. Of course it will get a bit closer now because we will be sharing the same hospitality, same team and we will be sharing many things. I will be speaking with him a lot - it's normal - and this is how it is at the moment.

And how about with Daniel [Ricciardo]? Is he someone you've spoken to a lot?

I met with Daniel since I was 15 years old so since then we have been quite constantly in touch. There were some races where we were together in the same paddock, we'd always exchange a few words, a couple of jokes sometimes, but now I think the relationship will come a bit more professional between us because we will be pushing for the same goal. We will be pushing for the good of the team and of course in a way we will also be trying to achieve the best results for each other.

What are your hopes when you step up to Red Bull next year; is it to win a race? Is it to beat Daniel?

It's impossible now to predict what's going to happen in terms of our pace, if we will be able to win a race, a championship or a podium. What I want to do is I want to look myself in the mirror at the end of the year and say 'You did the absolute maximum'. That will be good enough for me.

Do you look at Sebastian as an inspiration for you? He came through Toro Rosso, went to Red Bull and won four world championships and now you'll replace him...

Of course it's a great example of how things can become suddenly. He won four world championships in a row so it's a huge amount, but once again I don't want to be thinking like that. For him everything went more or less ideally. I want to squeeze everything out of this possibility, I want to say to myself that I did my best and I want other people to say that I did my best and there's nothing else I could do. Hopefully that will be enough to be in a very good position in the championship.

You seem very confident in your ability; do you feel you could go in to Red Bull and lead a team of that size?

It's hard for me to say because I've never been to a top team. Toro Rosso is a fantastic team but we've been fighting for points sometimes, something like this, we didn't fight for the extremely high positions. Now it's a team which is very hungry and the only place that matters in the race is the top step. It's a big requirement of course, but it's hard to say for me because at the moment Daniel is constantly in front of Sebastian, there is not even one race where we can say that Sebastian was superior to Daniel. So Daniel looks extremely strong now, in extremely good shape ... I don't know what to expect yet from him so I'm curious to see what he's made of.

Is there a fear of the unknown? You haven't raced him in the same car and you've seen him beat Sebastian but you don't know how you'll stack up?

No there's nothing that can frighten me or anything like that. I will go there with a clear mind approach and see what I can do. Knowing myself from past years I think it should be close between me and Daniel.

With just one year's F1 experience behind you, if the car's good enough do you feel you can go in to Red Bull and challenge immediately for a world championship?

Everything is possible. If there is an opportunity of course I will go for it, it's normal. Experience is a name that people give to some mistakes, so after one year at this level for me ... I think that this experience this year will be very helpful for me. It definitely should be better.