Kamui Kobayashi says he has had to change his approach at Sauber this year because of his position as team leader.
With his Swiss team electing to hand Sergio Perez his F1 debut this year, Kobayashi found himself as the outfit's most experienced driver so was leant on more for car development.
Kobayashi has relished that opportunity and, after finishing in the points at the first seven races of the campaign, he is eager to keep building on his growing maturity.
"I am more confident this year," Kobayashi said, speaking to AUTOSPORT about his feelings on the way the season has gone. "I have had to change my approach as I am the most experienced driver in the team.
"It was not easy, for sure, but I have tried to do my best to always help the team improve, and things are definitely different to last year.
"The team is very stable. In the last two races I had a little bit of bad luck, although the performance was okay. So I am pretty happy with how things have gone."
With Kobayashi having missed out on points at Valencia and Silverstone, he says there is an added motivation to getting back into the top ten this time out.
"I am pretty confident here, in any temperature, and with any track conditions. We will just focus on score points. The last two races I could not get points, and this is what we need to do.
"So far our progress has been good. From last year we have improved, but now the next step is not so easy - but we have done a pretty good job."