Kevin Magnussen was concerned that "horrific" spells with McLaren and Renault would wreck his Formula 1 career in its infancy, but is delighted to have regained his mojo with Haas. Magnussen has emerged as the dominant driver at the American squad in 2018, with Romain Grosjean fighting to keep hold of a seat alongside him.
Magnussen is almost certain to secure a drive for next year after picking up seven points finishes in 12 races this year.
The Dane took a podium on his F1 debut at the 2014 Australian Grand Prix, but was replaced by Fernando Alonso at the end of the year and suffered a miserable campaign with Renault when he returned to the grid in 2016.
"[The first two years in F1] were pretty horrific and very unstable with different teams and losing my seat," Magnussen told Motorsport.
He added: "It was a very unstable beginning to my Formula 1 career. I had great momentum before I got to Formula 1 and I lost it once I arrived.
"The team that I got there with was very unstable and the management were fighting.
"The pressure was massive as we knew it was all between me and Jenson, we started making mistakes, and you start being tense and not performing well."
Magnussen has been given a new lease of life at Haas, relishing the battle to be 'best of the rest' behind Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull.
"It's really good fun, the most fun I've had in Formula 1, and the most competitive and kind of honoured feeling I've had," Magnussen added.
"I think it just shows the quality that the team is made of. They are able to make decisions and they are able to commit and take directions, it's a real strength of the team.
"They don't have any fights at the top or differences of opinions. With me, they agreed that I was the kind of driver they would like to commit to and they went ahead and did it."