Kimi Raikkonen has admitted he expected his rookie season to be as tough as it has been in the World Rally Championship.
The former Formula 1 World Champion has crashed his Citroen C4 WRC regularly this season, ending his last WRC outing with a shakedown roll before the event had even begun.
Raikkonen said: "Our season has not gone entirely according to plan, but this is actually what I expected: it's completely normal when you are learning something so new."
Despite the accident, Raikkonen has been one of the talking points of this year's series and his team manager Benoit Nogier is adamant the best of Raikkonen has not been seen yet.
"He is still learning," said Nogier. "Don't forget this is still his first year and he is still doing the events for the first time. Even next year, if he stays – and we want him to stay – he will still be learning, but it will be a little bit less hard."
Raikkonen says he has no regrets about his shift from the Ferrari Formula 1 team, adding: "Rallying is like a national sport in Finland: since I was a kid I followed it and I grew up with all these big names who were right at the front. So rallying is something that I always wanted to try: it was not at all a sudden decision. At the end of last year the opportunity came up so I was very happy to take it. And I've really enjoyed it."
Raikkonen also gave his strongest indication yet that he will remain in the WRC, adding: 'Not so many people get the chance to compete at this level and I want to use all the lessons I have learned this year."
Raikkonen's final outing of the season comes on Rally GB later this week, with the Cardiff, Wales-based event providing another first.
"I'm sure that Rally Great Britain is going to be a very tricky way to end the season because I hear that the grip is changing all the time and I know that the weather is going to be bad," said Raikkonen. "But you learn more by pushing yourself to the limit. I'm looking forward to it a lot."