Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella did not know whether to curse his misfortune or be thankful after finishing fifth in Sunday's Australian Grand Prix.
The Italian got a lucky break on the last lap when Briton Jenson Button stopped within sight of the finish line after his Honda's engine burst into flames.
Fisichella flashed past to take fifth place but it was still a day when most things went wrong for the 33-year-old while his Spanish teammate and world champion Fernando Alonso celebrated another triumph.
"After a race like that I have really mixed feelings," he told reporters.
"It's great to go from the pitlane and to finish fifth, especially in such an exciting way. But also we saw today that I had the car to fight for the win with Fernando so I'm disappointed I couldn't make use of it."
Fisichella arrived at Albert Park on Sunday justifiably full of confidence. He won the Melbourne race last year and beat Alonso to win the Malaysian Grand Prix two weeks ago.
He had qualified second fastest to join Button on the front row of the grid and was getting ready to blast off when things went wrong.
His Renault, normally so reliable, stalled and he was made to start the race from the pitlane after a second formation lap. Then when the race began, he had more problems.
"During most of the first stint I had no telemetry - so I was giving the engineers updates on my fuel load all the time and telling them about the car while overtaking the people in front of me," he explained.
"That problem fixed itself but the second stint was really hard because the car was understeering so much during that part of the race.
"The team were calling on me to push harder but I was on the limit all the way.
"Then after the final stop the clutch failed and we only managed to fix it a few laps from the end."
Fisichella had managed to get up into sixth position despite all his problems and although there was no way he could catch Alonso he still managed to reel off his fastest lap of the race to close in on Button.
"I could see his engine was failing in the final few corners then I was blinded by the oil and smoke during the final corner," Fisichella said. "I had a big oversteer but I got him as he moved over the track.
"It was an exciting afternoon and it's good to still score points after starting the so far back.
"I am second in the championship going to Imola and that's a great feeling because I should have a new specification engine there as well."