Jolyon Palmer picked his way through the order during a frenetic Russian Grand Prix to finish 13th for the Renault Sport Formula One Team.
The 25-year-old made a blistering getaway from 18th on the grid, making up places off the line and going wheel-to-wheel with team-mate Kevin Magnussen.
Palmer then had to take evasive action from a spinning Force India of Esteban Gutierrez at turn one immediately ahead of him, and there was further drama up ahead as Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat tipped the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel into the barrier.
After the safety car, Palmer pulled up to tenth place. He expertly fended off an attack from the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz at the restart, before gradually pulling away from his Spanish rival over the opening ten laps.
The Briton was at the end of a six-car train scrapping for seventh place at mid-distance, and he enjoyed a clean and competitive battle with former world champion Jenson Button.
The same couldn’t be said for Sainz who forced Palmer’s Renault R.S.16 wide as the pair ran side-by-side on lap 23.
The Toro Rosso racer received a ten second penalty from the race stewards for his part in the incident, but Palmer slightly fell away from the tussle ahead of him.
The former GP2 champion produced another stellar performance until the chequered flag fell, cementing 13th place.
Palmer said: “It was definitely a positive race for us. Finally the race pace was a lot better.
“We made an extremely early stop and we were struggling heavily with the tyres towards the finish.
“Kev scored points, which is a good sign, and we can all push on at Barcelona. It shows the job the whole team is doing and I’m pleased overall.”
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