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Pascal Wehrlein says he couldn't be happier how this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix turned out after making a bold one-stop strategy work perfectly to score his best-ever F1 finish and Sauber's first points of the 2017 season.

Sauber placed Wehrlein - who started 15th - on an unusual single-stop strategy in an effort to lift him into contention, a risk that was rewarded when the Virtual Safety Car made an appearance on lap 35 and the opportunistic Wehrlein was called into the pits at the last minute.

Having made the soft compound last a total of 33 laps, the convenient timing of the Virtual Safety Car meant the German could take advantage of a neutralised race and use the medium tyre for the remainder of the race.

"[I'm] Really happy about the race and how it went, we took a risky one-stop strategy but it worked out," Wehrlein said.

"I think the first stint was quite tough with the softs driving so long with the soft, and in the end it was really important to keep Sainz behind, which was obviously a lot quicker but you know then to keep him behind and build a gap to the guys behind him."

Finishing seventh on the road initially, though a 5-second penalty dropped his official classification to eighth position thanks to a pitlane infringement it is still Sauber's best result since Felipe Nasr finished in sixth position at the 2015 Russian Grand Prix.

However, due to a last-minute decision to dive into the pits while the race was neutralised, Wehrlein says he had no choice but to incorrect.ly enter the pitlane by crossing the pit entry line and on the wrong side of the bollard and cop the penalty.

"I just got the call when I was already at the last corner, but I knew when they called me so late it's important to come in," he continued.

"So I missed the bollard, but if I wouldn't stop on this lap everyone behind would have overtaken me, so this was the only chance to get some points as well. I knew that something was coming, I expected a penalty, probably I hoped for a penalty for the next race or something!

"But I'm also happy about the five seconds I think it's better than a drive through penalty."

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The result marks Wehrlein's second-ever top ten finish in F1 following a tenth place finish for Manor Racing in the 2016 Austrian Grand Prix.