Mick Schumacher is now two races into his second season in F1, and the German feels he has made a step forward over the past 12 months.
Son of seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher, Mick endured a tough debut F1 campaign, as his uncompetitive Haas did not allow him the chance to score points or regularly battle other drivers in F1's midfield.
He did generally outpace ex-teammate Nikita Mazepin, however, and talked up the improvement he felt he had made over the course of the past year.
"I feel like I've grown, and I feel like I've made a step," Schumacher told RacingNews365.com in an exclusive interview.
"Hopefully that's enough to race competitively and do the job that is necessary.
"I feel that [I've] been able to improve in every aspect, and there is not a special thing now that I would say stands out."
Second season syndrome for Schumacher
Prior to graduating to F1, Schumacher's junior career had seen him scoop the F2 and European F3 championships, though both of those title wins had come in his sophomore year in each series, after finishing only 12th in the previous year's standings.
Despite his recent successes having come after spending a year in familiar surroundings, Schumacher would not be drawn on whether there was a specific reason for this.
"Yes, we've seen that in the past, but it's not that my first years have been bad," said Schumacher of his junior formulae.
"Sometimes I was a bit unlucky, sometimes it just wasn't meant to be."
Though Schumacher is yet to score a championship point in just over a season in F1, he was at pains to point out that 2021 had not been the disaster it may have appeared to be on paper.
"I think the last year was a very positive year," said Schumacher.
"How much I'm able to improve this year, it's going be really interesting to see.
"I feel I have all the tools I need to do that step, and if the car helps in that specific role, then I'm sure that we will have a positive year."
Of his long-term ambitions, he added: "There's no plan, except for driving fast!"
Haas on the up in 2022
While Schumacher and Haas failed to score in 2021, his new teammate, Kevin Magnussen, has revelled in the American-led squad's newfound competitiveness, scoring 12 points to propel Haas to fifth in the Constructors' Championship.
Schumacher also took a moment to talk up his burgeoning relationship with his new stablemate.
"We've been in constant exchange," said Schumacher.
"He's very mature, and that's something I would say for myself as well, so I think that that side really works well together.
"Hopefully, we'll be able to give the right feedback to move forwards and essentially make the team faster.
"[As a driver], you want to try and do good, and to show that you do good is to beat your teammate, so that's my goal, and I think that's quite clear to everybody."
Viewed by others:
Germany is F1's "biggest client", says Schumacher
Along with Sebastian Vettel, Schumacher is one of two German drivers on the 2022 grid - with Nico Hulkenberg also having filled in for a Covid-stricken Vettel over the opening two rounds - while multiple Constructors' Champions Mercedes bring considerable German representation to the current F1 grid.
Despite this, the F1 calendar has not featured a German Grand Prix since 2019, though Schumacher says the country, which has a population of 83 million, is still a major market for the sport.
"In some ways, Germany is still the biggest client of F1, and [has] the broadest viewership, so I think it would be good for Germany to decide that there should be a Grand Prix," said Schumacher.
"Personally, I just try to do my best and hopefully that will bring people's attention [in Germany] back to F1!"
F1 Podcast: Can anyone stop the Verstappen/Leclerc show?
RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken,
Mike Seymour, and Thomas Maher look back over the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix in Jeddah, which was won in dramatic fashion by Red Bull's Max Verstappen.