Lewis Hamilton has dismissed the suggestion this year's F1 championship scrap with Max Verstappen has been the hardest of his career.
On the surface, the seven-time champion appears to be facing an uphill struggle to claim what would be a record-breaking eighth crown.
Verstappen and Red Bull seemingly have the edge, with the Dutch driver's eight wins compared to Hamilton's five helping to open up a 12-point cushion between the two.
Assessing his feelings on this year, speaking to Sky Sports F1, Hamilton said: "It's been amazing.
"It's been the hardest year on so many levels but there have been so many positives and I've really, really enjoyed it, even the difficult days."
Asked then whether it was the hardest, the 36-year-old Briton replied: "No, I wouldn't say so.
"I was thinking about all the championships I've fought in since I was 10 and there have been so many difficult moments and they are all very similar in their own way, unique in their own way at the same time."
In terms of wins, Hamilton's tally is currently his lowest at this point in a campaign since 2013, while he has finished runner-up on six occasions, including five times behind Verstappen.
Summing up the season, he said: "It could be better in the sense we've dropped points.
"We've not always been perfect but you live and learn and I feel things have happened the way they've happened for a reason and we've learned a lot."
Even Hamilton concedes he has not always made the right decisions, adding: "There are so many experiences of the past, even way before I got to Formula 1 that come in unconsciously and help me make the decisions I make.
"I still don't get everything right but that's a part of the process and I don't get held up by that. I just know I can be better tomorrow.
"It's okay to reflect on things but I don't look back and think 'Oh, I wish I'd done that'. The more you hang up on that stuff the more it holds you back and I'm going forwards."