Additional reporting by Ewan Gale
Yuki Tsunoda has conceded it was a shame AlphaTauri's deficiencies in the first year of F1's new regulations masked his progression as a driver.
The Japanese driver was himself surprised when being retained after his rookie season that was littered with driving errors.
Despite improvements this term, Tsunoda was unable to flourish due to the competitiveness of the AT03 as AlphaTauri slumped to ninth in the constructors' standings.
Tsunoda will need to continue his upward trend into the new campaign with F1 rookie Nyck de Vries joining him as team-mate following Pierre Gasly's switch to Alpine.
Assessing his second year in F1, Tsunoda told GPFans: "I think as a team we struggled.
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"From my side, I progressed quite a lot, in terms of the physical side, mentality and driving side, every race.
"So I am quite happy with the shape I am in right now. It was a big shame that I could not show it with results like last year.
"Obviously, last year's car was good and I struggled more. Mixed feelings but overall, I enjoyed it still.
"New car, completely new regulations, developing as a team and I have never had this sort of big project and big development.
"I enjoyed it but as a team, we struggled. A shame but it is what it is."