Sergio Perez believes his drive to sixth in the Bahrain Grand Prix is proof he can be successful with McLaren.
The Mexican struggled in the first three races of the season, and admitted after China that he had been amazed by the amount of criticism he had attracted.
While he also earned censure from team-mate Jenson Button over his aggressive moves in Bahrain, Perez said his sixth-place finish was proof he can deliver results for the team.
"We've been through some very difficult moments but I think this is the start of our season," he said.
"I never lost my confidence, I always believed in myself.
"I've shown the critics that I can do a good job."
Perez, who had been urged by team boss Martin Whitmarsh to up his game, said he felt liberated by his ability to attack.
"The strategy and the pace of the car allows you to be different," he said. "You are not defending, you are attacking.
"It was a great weekend all the way through. It was a very nice surprise for us [to compete at the front]."