Pierre Gasly says he feared for his Formula 1 career as his promotion to Red Bull swiftly descended into misery, and ultimately demotion back to Toro Rosso.
The Frenchman was elevated to the senior Red Bull team in the wake of Daniel Riccardo defecting to Renault, but started the season on the back foot, finishing outside of the points on his debut in Australia after a team mix-up in qualifying left him with a Q1 elimination.
Gasly's inability to pass the Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat in Melbourne would serve as a precursor for his struggles as he routinely found himself battling among F1's midfield, while Max Verstappen was able to put pressure on Mercedes and Ferrari.
The 2016 GP2 champion was dropped down to Toro Rosso over the summer break, with Alexander Albon stepping up to Red Bull, but Gasly was able to recover confidence in the sister team and scored his first career podium in the Brazilian GP after a superb drive in a chaotic race.
The 23-year-old has not ruled out looking to return to Red Bull in the future, but says different approaches from himself and the team will be required if he does make it back to the top squad.
He told RTL: "In the lower race categories, I always finished in the top three. Of course that didn't work during my first season with Toro Rosso, but it went well there.
"Those six months at Red Bull, however, were enough to undo almost all of my work. It almost cost me my career.
"We are all responsible for the lack of performance.
"There are certainly things that I could have done differently, but there are also many things that should have been different within the team.
"If I could do this again, I'd like to see that some processes had gone differently."
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.