Max Verstappen feels the lack of one-lap pace in this season's title-winning Red Bull would have cost him his maiden championship last year.
The change in aerodynamic regulations for this campaign has delivered cars able to follow more closely, and that has played to the strengths of the RB18 which has not always been the quickest in qualifying.
Allied to the car's supreme race pace, it has allowed Verstappen to win from lowly grid slots on a few occasions, such as 14th in the Belgian Grand Prix and 10th in Hungary.
Verstappen knows, though, the RB18's qualifying performance relative to last year would have resulted in a far different outcome in his battle with Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton.
"Of course, we've not had the fastest car over one lap for most of this season, I would say," said Verstappen, who has scored only five poles compared to the nine for Ferrari's Charles Leclerc.
"I don't know, it just didn't really suit our car, the one-lap pace, and being a little bit overweight, of course - in the beginning, quite a bit - that doesn't help our one-lap performance.
"With these new cars, it's quite interesting, because before you really focused a lot on qualifying because you knew it was very hard to pass a car.
"Now, even if your qualifying is not amazing, if you have a good race car, you can still fight and you can still actually pass people. That's the beautiful side of the new cars.
"That's why I think...let's say we had that problem last year, where you have a problem in qualifying where you’re not as competitive.
"We wouldn't have won the number of races as we did this year because this year, yeah, pole was nice, but it doesn't always mean you're going to win the race."
For Verstappen, his sensational comeback drive at Spa-Francorchamps has been that stand-out moment of his season.
Asked to select a highlight of the year, he said: "I have to go for the Spa weekend.
"Because that was just total dominance. These kinds of weekends, they very rarely happen like that.
"Especially, when I came home that night, you start to reflect a bit on the weekend, and you realise it was pretty crazy and pretty special."