Mercedes' Gary Paffett has already warned rivals that he'll return even stronger next season following a dismal 2013 campaign for the former DTM champion.
Paffett had travelled to Hockenheim with high hopes of ending his difficult season on a positive note, but the Brit once again struggled on the Saturday to qualify 16th before fighting his way up to ninth on Sunday's race.
The Brit says a narrow tyre pressure window played havoc with his HWA-run Mercedes' grip and degradation levels meaning his progress was compromised as a result.
The 2005-champion only reached the top step of the podium once during 2013 with a dominant win at the Lausitzring, but his form at the former East-German circuit unfortunately appeared to be a one off.
“We moved up from 16th to ninth place and finished in the points. But Roberto proved that even more might have been possible this Sunday,” said Paffett.
“It was extremely difficult to find the right tyre pressure today. The pressure was probably too low after the first change of tyres, so I had hardly any grip for ten laps and lost position as a result.
“The last set of tyres then degraded too soon, so we didn't manage to get everything perfect, but all in all, it was a great race and not a bad end to the season.
“We will work hard over the winter to return even stronger next year.”