Romain Grosjean has admitted that he feared for his Formula 1 future after his up-and-down 2012 season.
Lotus confirmed on Monday that the 26-year-old will stay with the team in 2013 despite question marks over the mistakes that punctuated an otherwise promising campaign.
The team is known to have considered alternatives, including Heikki Kovalainen and Kamui Kobayashi, but has opted to retain Grosjean, who claimed three podiums this season.
"I was worried," Grosjean told AUTOSPORT. "It hasn't been the easiest part of the season, to get to December when all of the races are done and you are waiting for an answer.
"I had good discussions with the team owners and we tried to analyze the situation, understand it and see if we could keep the speed at where we wanted to and to score a lot of points."
Grosjean accepted that the key to next season will be to get to the end of races, having failed to finish on eight of his 19 starts in 2012. But when he did finish, he scored heavily, standing on the podium in Bahrain, Canada and Hungary before the August break.
"It is pretty clear," he said when asked about the team's expectations. "They just want me to get to the end of the races. That's all we need to do."
Grosjean believes that the key to stringing together consistent results will be having the right approach. With Lotus winning its first race since 2008 (when it ran under the Renault name) this year and on an upward curve, the Franco-Swiss driver could be in the mix for a victory. But Grosjean is refusing to be distracted by such objectives.
"Let's see what happens next season," said the Frenchman. "First of all, we need to do the best with the car that we have, then do the best on the driving and engineering side and not worry about objectives.
"This year, there were some incidents because of sometimes going for the wrong objectives. Winning races would be fantastic, but first of all I want to do the best job for the team, for myself and to take everything step-by-step during the weekend. We will see after the checkered flag where we are."
2013 Formula 1 lineup so far:
Red Bull Sebastian Vettel Mark Webber
Ferrari Fernando Alonso Felipe Massa
McLaren Jenson Button Sergio Perez
Lotus Kimi Raikkonen Romain Grosjean
Mercedes Lewis Hamilton Nico Rosberg
Sauber Nico Hulkenberg Esteban Gutierrez
Force India Paul di Resta seat still open
Williams Pastor Maldonado Valtteri Bottas
Toro Rosso Daniel Ricciardo Jean-Eric Vergne
Caterham Charles Pic seat still open
Marussia Timo Glock Max Chilton