Williams driver Kazuki Nakajima heads into the second half of the Formula 1 season with more confidence as a result of running a strong fourth in the first stint of last month's British Grand Prix.
The Japanese driver, in his second full season as an F1 driver, believes that even though he was only able to finish 11th at Silverstone, the experience of running at the front will help him to emerge as a regular points scorer from now on.
"It was a good experience and it gave me more confidence," Nakajima told AUTOSPORT. "To start fifth and move up to fourth even with difficult tire warm-up and then keep my position was good. It was a shame that the race itself didn't go as planned, but still we managed a strong first stint.
"Obviously I have had some chances to score points this year but haven't managed it. As a driver, I need to be scoring points at least every race and in terms of car performance we're capable of doing that now."
Nakajima believes that the consistent performance of the Williams FW31 across a wide variety of circuits shows that the team has made a significant step forward after its up-and-down 2008 season.
"It's difficult to say why, but it's definitely something we have noticed," he said of the consistency of the car. "It's very different to last year, where depending on the track we were sometimes up there in the top 10 and sometimes P16 or P17. It was like driving a different car last year – at some tracks we picked up the grip with the tyres and at some tracks we didn't. This year, the performance is always there, it never changes by track.
"Every circuit we go to we are there for the top 10. The car has been very consistent and it's a very good thing to see that the team is capable of producing such a good car."