Kiwi Formula One driver Brendon Hartley has opened up about the "s**t position" he's found himself in during his first full season in the sport.
Hartley will start from last on the grid at today's United States Grand Prix, exactly one year since he made his debut in the Texas state capital of Austin.
Hartley has a contract for next season but there are rumours of Toro Rosso looking to hand his spot to other drivers.
"I've said it already before, from my point of view I have a contract for next year and anything else is better to discuss with someone from Red Bull,” Hartley told Motorsport.com.
"Obviously my position in the team was already questioned after three races of the season, which is a pretty s**t position to be in. But I feel like I'm stronger because of it.
"In an ideal world, you’d have full support, from a contractual point of view, and you’d just be able to focus on doing your job, but this is Formula 1 and it is not always like that.
Hartley admits he hasn't picked up as many points as he would have liked through the season, but is adamant he is still good enough to compete with motorsport's elite.
"While it helps to have full support from the team, I’m definitely a stronger person and I’ve learned a lot in the space of a year in Formula 1."