Lewis Hamilton admits that, while he is enjoying the latest set of challenges presented by the F1 rulebook, he has yet to get on top of the technique needed to get the most from every weekend.
The Briton heads to round six of the 2012 season, in Monaco, without a win to his name, despite having taken pole at each of the opening two races, but insists that he has every chance of becoming the sixth different winner, even though the likes of Red Bull, Lotus and Mercedes appear to have caught up to McLaren after the Woking team's blistering start to the year.
Key to success in 2012 has been managing the latest breed of Pirelli tyres, something that Hamilton, with his aggressive style, was expected to struggle with. However, as his drive from last on the grid to eighth in Spain two weeks ago - a result that keeps him third in the standings - proved, the Briton has the ability to manage his rubber and secure valuable points.
"I really enjoy the racing that we have now, as I've enjoyed it every year," Hamilton, who completed one fewer stop than his rivals in Barcelona, told journalists on the eve of the Monaco GP weekend, "Every year is a new challenge and I think that's what the rules are there to give us.
"It is a little bit different, where we're not pushing 100 per cent in the race. There are some points in the race where you can really push, but not for very long, and perhaps it is more about endurance, to try and make these tyres last, but it is still a challenge to extract the most out of the tyres for a longer period. It still requires skill and technique and finesse to do that stuff [and], speaking for myself, I'm still trying to get that fine touch sorted. But, nonetheless, it's still F1, it's still fun and there's more overtaking, which is what people like to see."
Having seen the likes of Pastor Maldonado and Nico Rosberg break their victory duck in 2012, Hamilton could be forgiven for feeling a little frustrated, particularly given McLaren's early season firm, not to have joined them, but he insists that he prepared to bide his time and continue to rack up the points in an effort to add a second world title to his CV.
"I'm not frustrated, no," he claimed, "This is the way racing goes sometimes. Of course, looking at the qualifying results we've had for the five races, we would have loved to have finished further up, and we definitely need to improve to ensure that we stay where we are or we move forwards. We've started high up, but finished a little bit further behind from where we started, so we've gone backwards a little in most of the races. However, we're working very hard to make sure that doesn't continue.
"I don't know if it's an inconsistent season... well, potentially yeah, a little bit, because of the tyres. I think you sometimes get [the tyres] in the working range and sometimes you don't. I think a lot of teams are struggling to understand why sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but that's the challenge we all are faced with. I think people are enjoying it - I notice people are asking a lot of questions about how there's been five different winners and the fans I've met had said this is a fantastic season regardless, so I hope that continues."
Without the sort of penalty that set him back in both China and Spain, Hamilton hopes to be at the front of the grid again in Monaco and, with several previous victories under his belt in the Principality, sees no reason why he should become the season's sixth different winner on Sunday.
"There are some other drivers who have the potential to win races, but it's massively tight between quite a lot of teams, so I think it's wide open," he noted, "Particularly at this race, the driver can make more of a difference. A car that doesn't work so well at places like Barcelona could work a bit better here, so...."