Vitaly Petrov is determined to prove to Lotus and the rest of the Formula One grid that he is "not just a driver, but a good driver".
The 27-year-old looked destined to be on the sidelines for the 2012 season after Lotus opted to axe him after two seasons at Enstone.
However, some last-gasp negotiations from his management team saw him secure a seat at Caterham at the expense of Italian veteran Jarno Trulli.
"It was a difficult winter because I was told quite late they no longer wanted me because I was quite sure before they had said they did," Petrov said.
"But my head never dropped. I always thought something would happen. I was quite clear in my mind to prepare for this year.
"Obviously, I am grateful to Caterham helping me."
Lotus team owner Gerard Lopez suggested that Petrov felt his seat was secure for this campaign as he had plenty of sponsors, but the Russian disputed those claims and now wants to prove a point.
"It's not right what he said about the sponsors. I thought he (Lopez) was quite happy with my driving, that he knew I had speed," he said.
"But I can't look back. I know what I did well and not so well, and I have shown my career in Formula One is not finished.
"I now want to prove to a lot of people I am not just a driver, but a good driver."