On a weekend that has seen Sauber dominate headlines for all the wrong reasons off the track, Felipe Nasr ensured the team had something to celebrate on the track as it returned to the points in impressive fashion during the Australian Grand Prix.

Nasr had begun the weekend facing the very real prospect of losing his seat with Sauber over a contractual dispute as the team became embroiled in a bitter legal feud with Giedo van der Garde. Though a resolution of sorts prevented that from occurring, Nasr was still on the back foot coming into the race having missed FP1 as the legal battle rumbled on.

Going on to qualify 11th - before moving up to 10th on the grid at the expense of the absent Valtteri Bottas -, Nasr nonetheless made a strong start and survived a first corner melee to complete the first lap in sixth place, progressing to fifth when he passed Carlos Sainz at the restart.

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Though he would lose a spot to Kimi Raikkonen, the Finn's subsequent retirement would promote him back into the top five, the Brazilian showing maturity beyond his experience to resist Daniel Ricciardo and complete a well-deserved result.

Creating a little bit of history by scoring the best ever debut F1 race result for a Brazilian, his efforts - along with eight place Marcus Ericsson - also sees Sauber return to the points for the first time since 2013.

"I think I had a great car in my hands," he said. "I was impressed by the pace we had and I was able to keep the Red Bull behind. The start went well, the pit-stop went well, then the final stint on the prime tyres, they were quite consistent as well, but we were able to cope with it.

Indeed, Nasr was particularly pleased to come away with such a strong result in light of the pre-weekend disputes, describing it as the toughest weekend of his career.

"The race was tough but I think the whole weekend in general was difficult." he continued. "To arrive in my first ever grand prix and to try and go through this situation is something I did not expect. It was really hard for myself to keep everything under control, my concentration.

"Mentally it was difficult to keep all my focus when we had the chance to drive the car. Missing FP1 as well was quite difficult, but it is such a big relief for this race that we were able to put everything together.

"It was the most difficult weekend in my racing career, to go through all of that [legal case]. I was able to keep my head down, control my emotions and my strength, to know that when I was in the car I just had to deliver. It proves myself and team were ready to put the job on track."