Pierre Gasly has insisted he was not left "broken" after being dropped by Red Bull midway through last season.
Gasly returned to then Toro Rosso, now AlphaTauri, ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix following a string of lacklustre performances in comparison to team-mate Max Verstappen.
Gasly has since secured his maiden podium in Brazil last year and debut race win in the Italian Grand Prix most recently, with many believing he had completed a redemptive arc after seeing his confidence and character seemingly shot.
The Frenchman, however, feels he has remained unchanged throughout the experience and that his 'demotion' effectively lay foundations for more positive feelings rather than negative.
"I think on my side, I am still the same," insisted Gasly. "I think that [being dejected] is what people were expecting of me from the outside because it was a difficult situation.
You may also like..
"But I have seen some difficulty also in a younger age, whether it was in karting or a younger formula or in my personal life, so for me, it hasn't been a massive step back.
"If anything, what happened last year gave me more strength and energy to bounce back and show things were not really right for some reason at that time. I don't think I was broken at all, it just gave me even more strength."
Gasly currently lies 10th in the standings, four places and 31 points ahead of team-mate Daniil Kvyat after achieving six top-10 finishes in 10 races.
With such a turnaround in fortunes, the former GP2 champion has given recognition to the part played by his AlphaTauri team.
"I was surrounded by the right people in AlphaTauri that also give me chances to perform at my best," he explained.
"At the end of the day, it is a team sport and I can't do everything on my own. In the performance I am showing, it is not only down to me but it is also thanks to all the guys around me who give me a chance to deliver some strong performances."
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.