Jaime Alguersuari says he was never worried about losing his place in Formula 1 to Daniel Ricciardo this year, claiming he was always confident he would deliver enough to keep his Scuderia Toro Rosso bosses happy.
The Spaniard and his teammate Sebastien Buemi started the campaign knowing that if they failed to deliver there was a high chance they could lose their place to new reserve Ricciardo. But with both men having delivered strongly, and Alguersuari putting in a brilliant performance in the race in Valencia after a poor qualifying showing, in the end Ricciardo was slotted in at HRT.
Although it is understood that Alguersuari was the one who came closest to being dropped by Toro Rosso before his Valencia performance, with it likely that he would have been moved to HRT himself, the Spaniard has said he always had trust in his own abilities.
"If I knew that I was not doing well, if I knew that I could have done more from my side, then I would have been worried," Alguersuari said. "If I had done mistakes, crashes, or not been fast in the races or so, then it would have been different, but I knew I had something else.
"Working on the car setup, and understanding the tires this year, I knew from my side it was just a matter of time. It was coming. I am not Rubens [Barrichello] or Fernando Alonso, who have loads of years in F1 and know everything straight away. I got used to F1 and now it is completely different to last year. It is coming, and it is a matter of time.
"I will be much better at the end of the year and now it is coming better and better and better. That is why I say we have still not shown the best performance, even with some good results in the last few races.
"It is just a matter of confidence and staying calm. I know all the rumors were around the paddock, but I knew I was doing my best. I don't decide my future because I am not the boss from Red Bull, I am not Helmut, but I was confident it was a matter of time."
Alguersuari says it is important to judge his performances this year on his race performances rather than qualifying efforts, because he says his focus has been on delivering his best on Sunday afternoons.
"I have seen there is potential to work for a racecar and not so much for qualifying, and you can see that in the races I am faster than qualifying," he explained. "I am happy to do that because, in the end, the points I get are at the end of the race and not on Saturday."
When asked if the speculation about his future being on the line had been a concern, Alguersuari said: "I am not worried about rumors. I have had pressure since I was 15 years old. It is always a matter of pressure in racing, but even if you do get out of a program or go home, you need to be happy with yourself and be confident that you have done your best, and that is it.
"As soon as you have done your best, you need to stay calm. That is why the results are coming because you need to stay focused and you need to stay calm. There is still potential to come, still things coming. It is just a matter of time."