Monte Carlo (PTI): For a team like Force India, point scoring opportunities come once in a blue moon and Giancarlo Fisichella reckons an early lapse in the Monaco Grand Prix cost him a jinx-breaking top eight finish.
Fisichella ran a near-flawless race and briefly held the eighth place to be in the points bracket. But the veteran soon dropped down a place and could not improve his position in the remainder of the race.
"I just lost a position at the start and perhaps it was this that cost me the point in the end," Fisichella said.
But instead of crying over split milk, the Roman sought to see the sunny side of the race and felt the team returned with its head held high.
"We have to be happy about it. It was a great step forward, to get two cars into Q2 and then to get within two seconds of a point. We need to keep pushing and be there all the time now," he said.
"Ninth position is a great result for the team. The pace was very good and consistent and I felt I was driving well, taking care of the tyres and putting in some fast laps at the same time," Fisichella added.
Teammate Adrian Sutil started the race on the supersoft tyre option, but excessive graining in the early stages of the race forced an early pit stop on lap 11 to change to the harder compound.
Sutil dropped to the rear of the field and then got caught with blue flags and traffic before he eventually finished 14th overall.
"We had started on a one-stop strategy, which would have been okay but we used the supersoft tyre from the start and they grained up very quickly," Sutil said.
"In the end I was doing some quick laps and had quite a good pace, so there are some positives and we can be happy at some aspects. There is more to come from us for sure," said the German.
Force India chairman and team principal Vijay Mallya said he was enthused with the result and was hoping to do even better with new updates.
"This has been a very encouraging weekend all round. We got two cars into Q2 and finished within a whisker of the points -- and all on merit," Mallya said.
"We've incremented our performance and raced it well this weekend, and we know we have more upgrades in the pipeline, which is a great motivating factor.
"If we continue on the path we have now laid before us, I am certain we'll achieve the success we all deserve," Mallya added.