Carlos Sainz achieved a career-best fourth place finish in today's Singapore Grand Prix, a result the Toro Rosso driver qualified as 'really earned and incredible'.
Sainz launched his evening of racing from P10 but was slow off the grid when his anti-stall kicked in.
The slow start was perhaps a blessing in disguise however as he was positioned away from the carnage which ensued up ahead among the front-runners, and enjoyed a clean run through Turn 1.
Sainz drove a steady first half stint to find himself in P4, behind Valtteri Bottas, but had to fend off his rivals thereafter at the wheel of his supersoft STR12 while others had chosen the faster ultrasoft compound.
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"It was a result we really earned, doing the right thing every time," said Sainz, who will drive for Renault next year.
"There were complicated moments, especially when I had people with new inters behind me and mine were used.
"Then when everybody was on ultras I was on the supersofts and I had to defend very hard from people who were a second quicker than us because of the tyres.
"Then things started to happen, we passed some people and we finished fourth, which is incredible, unthinkable."
The Renault-bound driver was ecstatic with his performance which he labeled as one of the best in his career.
"It was a very important day. One of the most important of my sporting career and I can be very, very happy.
"It was a much harder race than you can imagine, because I had Checo [Perez] behind me with ultrasofts and Hulkenberg with fresher tyres and I spent all the race looking in the mirrors, trying not to make mistakes.
"I knew they had better pace and even so we finished ahead of them. It was much harder than it looked from the outside."
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