Will Power feels he is in the greatest form of his IndyCar career and is aiming to double up on series titles and Indianapolis 500 victories this season.
In 2018, the year he also won the Indy 500 for the first time, Power became the most successful IndyCar driver in Team Penske's history and scored the team's 200th IndyCar win, while moving into second on the championship's pole list behind Mario Andretti.
But errors, mechanical failures and other outside factors meant he arrived at the Sonoma season finale with little chance of capturing a second crown.
"I feel like I have not slowed down, I've only gotten quicker, and now I have a world of experience," said Power.
"I'm driving in the best form of my life, so for me there's no reason, no excuse to not be a legitimate contender [in 2019].
"When I think about last year, if I didn't aquaplane in the wet at Barber, if I didn't have an engine failure at Road America, I'm right there in the championship.
"Then you can add a couple of mistakes of my own like St Pete [where Power spun during the race] and Phoenix. And then there was the radio issue at Texas.
"We definitely had a bad run [at the start of the year] when I think about pace performance and qualifying performance.
"It should have been a fantastic year championship-wise so it was disappointing to come to the last race not a legitimate contender.
"It all goes in cycles, you have good and bad runs, so now I'm looking for a good solid championship year.
"I don't mean a top three finish; I mean we need to be a legitimate contender by the end - and to have a 500 win in the same year would be phenomenal.
"It's not a point where you say, 'Oh the top three would be great.' It's a point where you need to win another championship and you need to be a multiple 500 winner."
Power, who had finished a close second in the 2015 Indy 500, said a burden had been lifted by winning the event in '18.
"There were a lot of frustrations and disappointments along the way trying to achieve that," he said.
"So it will be a great feeling to turn up there without that massive pressure on your shoulders.
"It actually got worse - 2018 was the worst - so I went into the Month of May disappointed with my career, really disappointed. Because I'd won so many races and I thought, 'But it doesn't matter.'
"[Now] I find I'm more energetic, more focused than I've been for a number of years, fitness-wise.
"I'm not saying that's just down to the 500. I've matured, I'm very happy in my life and I've realised that life is super-short so you have to enjoy it, you have to go for it."