Fernando Alonso insists he has been boosted by his drive at the Malaysian Grand Prix, despite retiring from the race.
The Ferrari driver had to do all the race without a clutch after it broke during the formation lap. That meant he had push the throttle while gearing down in order for the gears to engage.
Despite the problem, Alonso had a close battle with world champion Jenson Button before his engine gave up with two laps to go.
The two-time world champion believes it was the best drive of his life and that it has boosted his confidence.
"I feel reinforced for the championship," Alonso was quoted as saying by AS newspaper. "The fact that in a race with problem I could fight wheel to wheel with the rest gives me a lot of confidence.
"I've never done a grand prix like that, adapting my driving as much as I had to and with decent times.
"I know that because of the result this will be forgotten, but we know this was the best race of my life. I'll say that in a few years and they will think I'm crazy."
Although the retirement meant that Alonso lost the championship lead to team-mate Felipe Massa, the Spaniard is adamant that he will be back on top when he has a normal race.
"After three races it matter little who is the leader," he said. "I've had three very complete weekends. I feel very good and very confident to be among the top three or four to opt for victory when things work as normal. That's what happened in Bahrain.
"In Melbourne I was 22nd and here I was 21st. If I have another normal weekend, like the first one, I'm convinced that I can get the lead back."