Kiwi Formula 1 driver Brendon Hartley says the constant speculation around his uncertain future in the prestigious motorsport circuit is helping him become a better driver.
Hartley has only managed two points in the first 12 races of a roller coaster 2018 season but is feeling confident ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix this weekend.
The 28-year-old says the rumours about his spot at Toro Rosso were a "surprise" but he believes he has used them to his advantage.
"I actually feel much stronger than I did at the start of the year, much more sure of myself," he told Autosport.
"Having a lot of rumours and difficult questions to answer only three or four races into the season was a big surprise to me but it was a positive because it made me change my attitude, made me keep my focus in the right areas.
"I was also happy I could prove myself under a high-pressure situation, that I could perform and deliver.
"That was quite a defining moment for me. I was under so much pressure, it made me look at my approach, how I manage my time, where I put my mental energy."
Hartley said when he first heard of the speculation, he reminded himself to enjoy racing in the Formula 1 and "focus more on me and doing it for myself" without becoming selfish with his attitude.
"It's not that I was worried about what people were saying or talking about," he said. "I guess to a certain extent you're always aware.
"I feel much more focused on myself now. I feel a lot better because of it."
The Kiwi has nine races left this season to prove his worth.