F1 2010 rookie Vitaly Petrov notched up his first finish at the pinnacle of the sport today in China, and he did so in style by passing record-breaking F1 world champion, Michael Schumacher and Mark Webber in the final few laps.
Petrov had failed to finish in the opening three grand's prix, however not only did he get to the chequered flag at the Shanghai International Circuit, but he also put his Renault R30 in the top ten, coming home seventh to score six points.
Speaking at the finish, the Russian was delighted to finally get off the mark and open his account for F1 2010.
"I'm happy to finish my first race in F1 and to score my first points. It was a difficult race and it wasn't easy to make the right decisions today. In the beginning, when it started to rain, some drivers came in for intermediates, but we decided to stay out on slicks, which was the right decision," Petrov reflected.
"Then I kept talking on the radio with the team to decide when we would change to intermediates, and again we got the timing right. When I changed to my second set of intermediates, I knew it would be important to look after the tyres, but we didn't know if it would continue raining or if the track would dry out.
"But I kept pushing, the engineers told me that I had good pace, and in the final laps I had some good overtaking moves, especially with Schumacher and Webber, to gain some more places."
Renault boss Eric Boullier meanwhile has predicted that this result will give his number two driver a well needed boost ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya in three weeks time.
"To see Vitaly score his first points is fantastic, especially in such spectacular style with a fighting drive where he showed great pace. It's good for him to have a race distance under his belt and I'm sure he will take a lot of confidence from this excellent result," Boullier noted.
"I also want to pay tribute to the whole team who have worked so hard recently, both here at the track and back at the factory in Enstone. They have not made any mistakes all season and have made great calls with the strategy: today's result [with Robert Kubica taking fifth in the sister car] is a great reward for all their efforts," he concluded.