Esteban Gutierrez has thanked Sauber for giving him the time and patience to find his feet in F1 after achieving his best result of the season in Spain.
Gutierrez's debut season has been anything but easy for the Mexican driver and his Sauber team with the latter struggling to reach the heights of last season.
The 21-year-old has yet to make it into the top ten shoot-out on a Saturday while he's also still waiting on his first point of the campaign.
Gutierrez, though, came close at the Barcelona circuit when he brought his car home in 11th place.
"It was a very special weekend for me," Gutierrez told Autosport.
"I want to thank the team because they have given me the patience, the communication and the tools to improve as a driver.
"This is very important after the four races in which we didn't get what we wanted.
"We came to the fifth race trying to get a point, but in the end [11th] was what we could get and even though we didn't get a point, it feels a little bit like victory.
"It was a most important step forward from a personal point of view."
And Gutierrez was not the only member of Sauber pleased with his performance with chief designer Matt Morris saying it was a fault-less Sunday for the rookie.
"We couldn't have asked for much more from him," Morris said.
"He set some good times in the race and was leading at one point, which will do him the world of good.
"We never really doubted his pace, he has clearly shown he's fast enough but it's just that race weekend experience and racecraft can only be gained by being out there.
"He put himself under a lot of pressure in the first few races and we have put him under a lot of pressure.
"He has made some mistakes, but [in Spain] he did not make a mistake all weekend.
"No mistakes, good pitstops, good racing - we are pleased with him."
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