Nico Hulkenberg said he was delighted with fourth place in the Belgian Grand Prix despite initially hoping he might manage a maiden Formula 1 podium.
The Force India driver stayed out of trouble in the first corner melee and ran as high as second, battling with Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen.
Hulkenberg was confident that his two-stop strategy was the correct decision as he raced to his best finish in F1.
The result took Hulkenberg ahead of team-mate Paul di Resta in the championship and elevated Force India to seventh in the constructors' standings, above Williams, which failed to score.
"I've got a big smile on my face today because it's just the result we needed for our fight for the championship," Hulkenberg said.
"I was as high as second and for a while I was even thinking we could finish on the podium.
"But the race was tough. I had some great fights with Kimi and Michael, I was always on the limit.
"The start was eventful, but fortunately I was able to avoid the debris and take advantage of the situation."
Di Resta ran behind Hulkenberg in fourth following the early-race restart, but was compromised by a KERS problem and could only finish 10th.
"[It was] a tough race for me, largely due to a KERS failure on the car just before the race, which really hurt my performance and speed on the straights," said di Resta.
"I couldn't really attack or defend, which is a shame because I ended up in fourth place after the start, but we couldn't capitalise on it."
- Michael Schumacher
- Paul di Resta