Renault driver Heikki Kovalainen says he never doubted his ability despite a slow start to his Formula One career.
Kovalainen says he always pushes things to the limit
The Finnish rookie, 25, has been outshone by the dazzling debut displays of British newcomer Lewis Hamilton, who leads the championship by 10 points.
Kovalainen claimed just three points in his first five races but then finished fourth in Canada and fifth in the USA.
"I have never lost confidence, never let my head go down," insisted the BBC Sport website columnist.
"I have always believed things would come together for me, and I was positive even in the difficult moments.
"I always push to the limit, always attack and try to be aggressive. Sometimes this year I have overstepped the mark.
I have good momentum at the moment, and I want to maintain that in France this weekend
"For me personally, nothing has changed. I came into F1 with confidence in my ability."
Kovalainen, who was handed the unenviable task of replacing Fernando Alonso for the 2007 season after the double world champion moved to McLaren, goes into Sunday's French Grand Prix in eighth place in the championship with 12 points.
"I have good momentum at the moment, and I want to maintain that in France this weekend," he said.
"Montreal was my best result so far in F1, and Indianapolis was my best race: a strong weekend, no mistakes, no problems, five laps in the lead and a good level of performance from me and the car.
"I am still improving every time I drive, learning and putting it into practice. As we develop the car, that is showing in my race results."