Spa-Francorchamps: Force India`s Adrian Sutil notched up a career-best equalling performance in Formula One by finishing fifth at the rain-marred and action-filled Belgian Grand Prix here today.
The result is also the best for Force India in the current season and also brought the team back among points.
Starting eighth on the gird, Sutil improved his positions by three slots to grab 10 valuable points.
The German had finished fifth at Malaysian Grand Prix also in the early part of the season.
He was just over nine seconds behind the winner Lewis Hamilton of McLaren. Red Bull`s Mark Webber finished second while Robert Kubica of Ranault and Felipe Massa of Ferrari were third and fourth.
Sutil`s team-mate Vitantonia Liuzzi finished just outside points bracket at 11th after starting at 12th.
Last year also Force India had done exceedingly well at the Spa circuit when Giancarlo Fisichella earned the first ever pole for the outfit and finished second.
Rain showers splashed the track intermittently, there was a collision between Red Bull`s Sebastian Vettel and McLaren`s Jenson Button and twice safety car was deployed in the race.
Sutil has moved into ninth position in the drivers` title race while sixth placed Force India now have 57 points, 17 clear of Williams in the constructors` championship.
Sutil was quite happy with his show today and hoped to continue at next race in Italy next month.
"Another fifth place so I am very pleased as I started in P8. I think that was the best we could do. It was very tricky conditions out there and you never knew what would happen with the weather.
"When the rain came it was sometimes light in places and heavy in others and I had to really concentrate to drive it home safely. The upgrades worked well and we can still improve - it was just the start of the development, which looks good for the next race in Monza as well," he said.
Liuzzi was though disappointed as his front wing was knocked off by Sebastian Vettel in lap 25 and that ran him out of the points race.
"It was a tough race and it was a shame we couldn`t get any points here today. We had a good start but I suffered a lot of front and rear graining on the soft compounds early on and also some damage to the front wing.
"Vettel tried to overtake me at the last corner and took my front wing off and that cost us points in this race. We lost more than 30secs changing the wing and without this I am pretty sure we could have finished in eighth or higher," he said.
Team`s chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer said, "We`re obviously very pleased to be back in the points again today. Both drivers demonstrated a strong race pace and we worked well as a team monitoring the changeable weather conditions.
"Tonio was unlucky to miss out on the points due to losing his front wing when Vettel ran into him. The points are crucial for the championship at the moment and the pace also bodes well for Monza in a couple of weeks` time."