F1 rookie Vitaly Petrov gave his hopes of retaining a Renault drive for 2011 a boost by scoring his best result of the season, with fifth place after an 'almost perfect' race day in Hungary.
"I feel wonderful because we did everything almost perfect today," said Petrov, who began the race from an F1 best of seventh. "I made a good start and managed to pass Rosberg and Hamilton into the first corner, which was our target.
"After that, I didn't try and block Lewis too much because I had a problem with my tyre warm-up. I lost a lot of grip and I was fighting the car. I decided to let him through rather than risk losing more positions.
"The points today are very important for us because Mercedes didn't score any. Also, I have a lot of friends and family here today so I'm pleased I could give them a good result," he added.
After going six races without points, Petrov has now scored back-to-back points for the first time in F1.
"It was an excellent drive from Vitaly today with good pace and consistency," declared Renault chief race engineer Alan Permane. "He made a great start and did well to get ahead of Rosberg, which was our target, and after that he was able to pull away from him comfortably. From then on he drove a faultless race and he can be very satisfied with his performance across the entire weekend."
Petrov is now twelfth in the drivers' championship, while Renault has closed to within 26 points of fourth-placed Mercedes in the constructors' championship.
Petrov's team-mate Robert Kubica failed to finish on Sunday after a pit lane collision, for which Renault were fined, but with Nico Rosberg also not scoring on Sunday the Pole remains just five points behind the seventh-placed Mercedes driver.