Heikki Kovalainen is digging deep to ensure his motivation is not derailed by McLaren's poor start to the season – as he looks forward to further car updates in Monaco this weekend.
The Finn has retired from three of the five races held so far this year, and has scored just four points as McLaren embarks on getting to grips with improving its MP4-24. But despite the far from easy start to the campaign, Kovalainen insists he remains fully fired up for the challenges ahead.
"I'm not dwelling on my sorrow, being sad about it," Kovalainen told AUTOSPORT. "I think it is a bit character-building, to be honest. I think I have just got to really stay strong now and really dig deep, really stay motivated and just keep the focus, because it's very easy to lose it now and just start blaming things, or start dwelling on it.
"I think you've just got to move on; got to leave it behind and bounce back. That's all we can do."
McLaren is set to introduce front wing revisions, and a new rear wing for this weekend's blue-riband event in Monaco, as part of a package of improvements aimed to lift the team up the grid.
"I am looking forward to the next race," said Kovalainen. "I think we've made some big steps forward already with the team. It is quite encouraging and I am anticipating these upgrades coming all the time. So it just motivates me a bit more. I'm not a quitter; I don't want to give up and just forget the season. I want to do good results and I think we have a good chance.
"I had a decent weekend last year up until the start when I had the steering wheel problem, so I think we should be looking forward to that. There is nothing that we should be afraid of."
Although McLaren endured a frustrating time at the Spanish GP, as the track punished the MP4-24's aerodynamic deficiencies, Kovalainen sees no reason for the team to feel downbeat about its situation.
"I think many people forget how much we have improved since the start of the season up until this point. I think Spain was the first weekend where it looks like we took a step backwards, whereas I think it was more a case of other people having taken a good step forward.
"We've been taking those steps every weekend, and we can't expect to take a big step all the time. I think we'll see other upgrades coming, and hopefully we'll be able to out-race other people in that development and catch up with them again. So I'm definitely not writing off the season. I've still just got to maximise everything and do the maximum every time."