Valtteri Bottas admits he was doubting himself during the dip in performance he had in the second half of 2017.
The Mercedes driver had proven a worthy replacement for Nico Rosberg alongside Lewis Hamilton, often keeping his teammate on his toes and beating him in some cases, taking wins in Russia and Austria.
The Finn was just about in title contention too after the summer break, but as the Brackley team struggled to cure all weaknesses with their 'diva' W08, Bottas lost his way, struggling to get within half a second of the eventual world champion in qualifying.
“After struggling quite a lot for a couple of races, it wasn’t easy mentally because I was quite confused in the beginning – like ‘what’s going on?’,” he told Motorsport.com.
“For sure you also start to doubt what you’re doing. When you need to change some things with your driving style and need to adapt to many different things suddenly you realise it’s not that simple.
“Then you easily overthink things and then it becomes less natural driving."
The 27-year-old would regroup in the final races, taking a third and final win of the year in Abu Dhabi, but now finds himself under pressure with just a one-year extension to his contract and plenty of drivers vying for his seat.
Should he find himself facing struggles again, however, Bottas feels much more prepared.
"I’ve learnt massively from those difficult races so I think I’m a lot better driver as well than for example in Spa or Malaysia or Japan,” he claimed.
The former GP3 champion also thinks the knowledge Hamilton has of how the Mercedes behaves in certain situations played a role in the speed difference between them.
“What he’s been doing better than me, I think it comes mainly from experience. Mechanically, the car hasn’t really changed much from the last few years, in terms of how it behaves and it was very different how the Williams car behaved," Bottas claimed.
“So there’s been many things for me to learn, and I’ve been kind of catching up on things all the time.”
Grosjean vows not to repeat early 2018 m
Verstappen still lacks one major asset t
Brawn has plan to stop top teams gaining
Alonso a 'more complete driver' thanks t
Red Bull insist Verstappen will not be f
Leclerc sets reasonable target for first
Monza plans big renovations for centenar
Ferrari much more of a unit compared to
Bottas: Worrying about Mercedes exit rum
Russell sets midfield goal for Williams
Brawn reveals agreement to help new engi
Ferrari confirm February launch date for
Perez talks up Stroll potential, plays d
18 Thoughts from F1 2018: Are Williams o
Ricciardo: Taking Renault 'to the next l
Norris wants to 'beat Sainz at every rac
Vettel has one problem with Kubica's F1
Pirelli has asked teams to simulate mand
McLaren 'very happy' with Renault, expec
Schumacher chooses Ferrari Academy over
Stroll matched Ocon in the simulator and
Wolff identifies race where he 'felt the
Sainz: McLaren aiming to lead the midfie
Marchionne death was a 'big loss' to Fer
Stewart hails Verstappen and arrival of
Kubica suggests Williams ignored initial
Bottas to contest Arctic Lapland Rally i
Vettel unsure if he'll enjoy same Ferrar
Alonso was 'never on the right team at t
Verstappen: F1 success 'a lot easier' fo
Mercedes had a pace advantage over Ferra
Ecclestone reveals Silverstone bid and f
Bianchi death & personal reasons re-shap
Hamilton had to be reigned in during sup
Norris believes McLaren more focused on
Grosjean: I have same desire to win as A
Verstappen only wanted to make Renault '
Kubica talks up F1 return: 'I know what
Wolff: Leclerc save at Spa vindicates Ha
Mexico GP future plunged into doubt by n
Wolff again raises prospect of future Sc
Sainz feels no pressure replacing Alonso
Hamilton just a 'chink in a chain' at Me
Raikkonen surprised by similarities betw
Renault reveal huge power deficit to eng
Verstappen still peeved by 'unfair' Monz
Hakkinen draws comparison to his early c
Mercedes' 2019 engine not yet hitting pr
Hulkenberg not so interested in comparis
Ecclestone warns against rise of street
Hartley hints Toro Rosso exit was politi
FIA concludes Halo did prevent Alonso's
Ricciardo: Process of making 2019 decisi
Brown: McLaren's 2018 a result of years
Giovinazzi expecting 'tough' start along
Pirelli: Tyres not only to blame for con
Vettel gets Di Montezemolo support: Schu
Ericsson tips - and hopes - Leclerc to '
Magnussen has 'almost forgot' what wins
Red Bull worried of help Ricciardo can g
Ericsson claims F1 is 'artificial' in co
Gasly will give Verstappen the 'hardest
Renault: 2019 potential depends on Red B
Russell wants to work with Kubica to pus
Racing Point will not be Force India's n
Hamilton expecting another title fight w
Ferrari admit possible benefits but want
Verstappen & Leclerc will be F1's new Ha
Schumacher's 2006 retirement left Ferrar
Sirotkin: 2019 Williams seat 'looked qui
Liberty 'trying' for Silverstone deal bu
Vettel would have been F1 champion with
Verstappen hints at 'Plan B' if Red Bull
Ricciardo denies money the cause for fai
Alonso leaving F1 akin to 'Real Madrid w
Gasly & Verstappen a 'good partnership'
Bottas rejects idea of seeking Rosberg a
Leclerc can be the 'incentive' Vettel ne
Todt suggests Verstappen becomes a stewa
Hamilton unscathed from minor crash duri
Perez admits Ocon relationship 'was neve
Red Bull's 2018 season could have been "
Alonso bemoans loss of engine noise in F
Ocon predicts busier 2019 as Mercedes re
Albon: Red Bull program was my only real
Bottas to approach 2019 'like I have not
Force India's new name & 2019 driver num
Force India officially confirm Lance Str
Mick Schumacher amazed by performance of
Norris keen to have 'valuable' Alonso ad
Schumacher 'as we all remember him' and
Ferrari claim the 'real Vettel' was back
Hamilton 'more relieved' after Mercedes
Verstappen admits bold Ocon moves in Abu
Force India rue costly races after faili
Bottas the 'only slight flaw' for Merced
Ricciardo 'confused' by Red Bull pace is
Williams: 'No one in the team' has doubt
Bottas & Vettel sense little difference
Brawn: 'Unacceptable' podium record for