Michael Schumacher has admitted to having mixed feelings over what is already being labelled the best performance of his Mercedes career.
The German veteran, who earlier in his career was widely recognised as one of the greatest wet-weather driver of his generation, rolled back the years with several audacious overtaking manoeuvres.
He fought his way all the way to second place after lining up eighth on the grid, but was unable to hold off Mark Webber's Red Bull and Jenson Button's McLaren in the final laps as the track dried out, exposing the Mercedes' lack of ultimate top speed.
"I am leaving this race with one eye laughing and one eye crying, as I am not sure if I should be excited or sad about it," Schumacher said following the four-hour classic.
"Having been in second place towards the end, I would obviously have loved to finish there and be on the podium again. But even if it did not work out in the very end, we can be happy about the result and the big fight we put in."
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the experienced Schumacher was not fazed by the two-hour break in proceedings. Lying in 12th place as lap 26 began, Schumacher put in some of his best racing of 2011 in the changeable conditions of the second half of the race.
"A good strategy after the red flag made it possible, and I am very happy for our team," he said.
Schumacher was running second as late as lap 65, but couldn't resist the repeated DRS-powered onslaughts from Button and Webber.