Stuns by finishing sixth and fifth in the new Haas squad's first two Grands Prix, and despite some at-times overly vocal criticism of his car, goes on to score all 29 of their points for the season, consistently beating team mate Esteban Gutierrez.
Despite some characteristically strong performances, including a podium at Spa, uncertainty surrounding Lotus's future - prior to confirmation of takeover by Renault - leads him to jump ship for 2016 and a Ferrari-powered drive with the all-new American Haas team.
Saddled with uncompetitive and unreliable Lotus, makes Q3 just twice and can finish no higher than eighth (in Spain and Monaco). Nevertheless, out-classes team mate Maldonado and remains with the team - who switch to Mercedes power - for 2015.
Reputation is transformed by a season of largely mature, measured - and fast - drives. Makes six podium appearances, including an excellent second place in Austin, outperforming world champion team mate Kimi Raikkonen in later races. Retained by Lotus for 2014.
Makes F1 return with Lotus. Inexperience shows in erratic early form, but then scores three impressive podiums. Second half of season characterised by number of high-profile accidents, including one at Spa that earns him a one-race ban, but retains seat for 2013.
Wins GP2 and GP2 Asia Series, with total of six wins. As Renault F1 tester, takes part in Friday practice at two Grands Prix and lands 2012 race seat with team.
Auto GP champion, with four wins, seven podiums and three poles. Also takes two FIA GT wins and two GP2 podiums, and competes in Le Mans and Spa 24-hour races.
Renault third driver. Promoted to a race seat alongside Fernando Alonso for August's European Grand Prix after team drop Nelson Piquet. Fails to match eminent team mate, with best qualifying slot 12th in Italy and best finish 13th in Brazil.
Racing for ART Grand Prix in GP2 Asia, takes title after scoring four wins. Also a frontrunner in the main GP2 Series, winning two races. Combines GP2 duties with his responsibilities as a Renault F1 test driver.
Stays in Formula Three for a second season. Secures the European championship with six wins, six podiums and four pole positions.
Graduates to Formula Three. Finishes the European championship 13th, thanks to two wins on home territory in France.
Continues in both French and European Formula Renault series for a second season. Takes the French title after dominating with 10 victories, plus two podiums in the European contest.
Competes in both the French and European Formula Renault championships. Named second-best rookie in the French series after scoring one win and three further podiums.
Moves into single-seater racing from karting, competing in Formula Renault. Six victories secure him the Swiss title.