Vitaly Petrov says he finally feels a fully fledged Formula 1 driver after scoring the first points of his career in the Chinese Grand Prix.
The Russian driver had failed to make it to the finish of the first three races of the season, but put in his best performance so far at Shanghai as he raced strongly to grab seventh place at the checkered flag. Following that result, Petrov has revealed that he did not actually feel like a real F1 driver in the first few races because it was all so new to him.
"F1 has been a new challenge, and there have been a lot of new things for me," said Petrov at the Spanish Grand Prix. "I have had to learn how the team is working. The first time I came testing was my very first time in F1, and the team helped me and I understood a lot of things.
"You need to build things with them and just now I start to believe I am here in F1. I wake up and I want to come back to the races. In the first two grands prix I was still not feeling like I was in F1. But later on, I want more and more to come back."
Petrov believes that the confidence boost that has come from the Shanghai result should help him deliver even better performances in the future.
"Finally we finished a race, it was difficult, difficult to make the right decisions but finally we did it," he said. "I think what happened in China, it shows I am not coming here just for fun, I want to show something good for the future. I believe in myself, I believe in my team and soon we will be getting even better results. I just need time to learn a lot of things."