German rookie Sebastian Vettel said ending a turbulent week with fourth place in the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai on Sunday ranked as one of the highlights of his life.
Last weekend, he crashed into the back of Mark Webber while running third in Japan but the 20-year-old had no such misfortune in Shanghai, racing from 17th on the grid to give Toro Rosso their best finish and five points.
"What can I say? It's one of the best days of my life," the beaming German said after he and sixth-placed team mate Vitantonio Liuzzi gave the team their first points of the year.
"Since the day I was born, it's one of the highlights. In Fuji we got close and today came this great result."
Vettel became the youngest driver in Formula One history to score a point in June when he replaced BMW Sauber's Robert Kubica at the US Grand Prix while still a teenager.
Former world champion Michael Schumacher had tipped off Toro Rosso co-owner Gerhard Berger years ago about his talented young compatriot and the team turned to him for the last seven races of the season when they dumped American Scott Speed.
He started the Shanghai race so far down the grid after receiving a five-place penalty for impeding another driver in qualifying on Saturday, a day after a 10-place punishment for the Fuji crash was reduced on appeal to a reprimand.
"It's been a rollercoaster this week," he said. "Yesterday I wasn't happy with my grid penalty but today I got my revenge on the track. Unbelievable."
Former Ferrari driver Berger was delighted that the team had finally got off the mark for the year with a haul of eight points to move to seventh in the constructors' championship.
"It was one of the longest races in my life," he told Germany's Premiere TV. "I'm really, really happy. I've seldom been so happy about a fourth place as with this one.
"Vettel was screaming so much on the radio that I didn't understand what he was saying."
Last week's race in Japan was run in torrential rain and there were showers in Shanghai too. Vettel said he is hoping for more of the same in the season finale in Brazil on October 21.
"It seems that we are very strong as soon as there is a bit of water on the ground," he said.
"Hopefully we'll have some water coming down from the clouds in Sao Paolo."