Kamui Kobayashi has dismissed suggestions that he is a dangerous driver following contact with some of his rivals this season.
The Sauber driver has been one of the stars of the year thanks to his aggressive drives and overtaking moves throughout the season. Kobayashi considers that despite his aggressive style, he has done nothing to earn the tag of dangerous driver.
"I am not doing anything special," said Kobayashi at Interlagos on Thursday. "I am just doing my race and to get the maximum chance I need to do that. To me I am just doing normal things but, OK, sometimes I am taking maybe too much risk – but if I have not retired from that it is not a big problem.
"Maybe I have a bit of contact with other guys in my experience of F1, but I have never crashed with any driver – or made him crash. So I don't think I am dangerous, definitely quite safe. When someone comes to overtake I can let him easily, it is not a problem. Everyone may say I am dangerous but I don't think myself I am dangerous."
He added: "I am just doing my job and this year I had more laps so I can organize – maybe need to learn step by step. Last year I had one race so had to learn everything, this year has been a different approach and I think it has been progressing and I am very happy, team has given me a lot of support so a really great moment."
This weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix marks a year since Kobayashi made his F1 racing debut with the Toyota team. The Japanese racer made an immediate impression in last year's race, but he says coming to grips with F1 so quickly was not easy.
"Good memories, of course," he said of his first race. "Last year was quite tough for me because it was decided that week, on the Tuesday or something, so I had no time. I just had to get to Brazil and get ready, and learn as much as possible on short time, not enough time – it was a very difficult moment but that is why I am here."
He reckons he still needs time to maximize his potential: "I can still find where I need to improve, but I think I just need time, need experience, and myself at every grand prix try to learn the maximum."
Kobayashi also believes having already secured his future at Sauber will make him feel more comfortable during the winter.
"I have I think first time finish this season and have the winter, and next year have a chance to win again, so the approach will be first time but it is definitely more comfortable, definitely. For next year I feel much more ready and we can speak to the team about what we need for next year, I am very happy with that and I have to believe that next year we have a good chance."