He had a difficult first year in Formula 1, struggling in qualifying and failing to match his more experienced team-mate. However, he showed improvement as the season progressed and scored a strong seventh place finish in Japan on merit.
His new car, the Sauber C33, was launched online today. Looking ahead to the up-coming season, he said: “I want to become a leader for the team. This is my second year now as a racing driver in Formula One and a lot of new things are coming up. I think that my involvement with the team is very important, so that we can meet our targets as a team. As a driver I want to take the next step.
“My approach is now different to last year and I’m really in full fighting mode with a lot of power. I prepared during the off-season and also analysed and evaluated everything that happened in my rookie season, so I can take that and turn it into a powerful asset this season.”
He believes testing will be crucial for drivers to get to grips with the new driving styles required for the 2014 machines. “To adjust to the new car this year will be special, because there is quite a dramatic change in the regulations, which will mean different strategies,” he said. “And from a driver’s point of view a difference in how to drive the car.
“This will take a lot of time and analysis to then properly apply things the way they should be. I think testing is going to be very important for this. Because, obviously, we want to arrive at the first race fully prepared and 100 percent adapted to our package, and then develop that further in the season. This is the evolution you need to have in a season in Formula One.”
The 22-year-old will race with the number 21 for the remainder of his career, which was his first choice. He will be partnered by Adrian Sutil in 2014, who is feeling ready for his first season at Sauber.
Image courtesy of Sauber F1 Team