Russian teenager Sergey Sirotkin believes he can be ready to step up to Formula 1 with Sauber in 2014.
It was announced last week that as part of Sauber's new partnership with a trio of Russian companies, Sirotkin will be placed on a development program "to prepare him as a racing driver for the team in 2014."
Despite his age (17) and relative lack of experience near the top of the single seater ladder, Formula Renault 3.5 rookie Sirotkin believes that he can be prepared for F1 in time for 2014.
"At the moment maybe I am a little bit too young but that doesn't mean I cannot be ready," Sirotkin said. "I have more than half a year to learn, I am doing a good preparation program, and I can be ready. I don't think it is going to be a big problem."
Sirotkin added that he could not imagine turning down the opportunity to race in F1, even if it is sooner than expected.
"The chance to be a Formula 1 driver is not something you can have every day," he said. "OK, maybe spending one more year in World Series, I could be more ready, but after one more year maybe there is no chance for me to be a Formula 1 driver. I don't think that someone in my place could say, 'No, I want to stay in the [Renault] World Series'."
Sirotkin currently sits ninth in the Formula Renault 3.5 standings following last weekend's round at Spielberg, where he took a fourth place in Race 2.