Jolyon Palmer believes a similar result to his career-best sixth place finish at the Singapore Grand Prix could have been achieved much earlier this season had he enjoyed better fortune.
The Briton took advantage of a chaotic Singapore Grand Prix to claim his first points of the season, which also marked his first appearance in the top ten since the 2016 Malaysian Grand Prix. The result came just days after it was confirmed Palmer would be replaced at Renault in 2018 by Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz.
While Palmer has faced criticism for his performances compared to teammate Nico Hulkenberg -- who has scored 34 points this year -- he has also suffered a spate of reliability problems throughout 2017. Palmer was forced into retirement with a technical issue when running strongly during an incident-filled race in Baku, before a hydraulics leak on the formation lap prevented him from starting the British Grand Prix from 10th.
Further issues hampered a promising weekend in Spa, as Palmer was hit with a five-place grid penalty following a gearbox failure that occurred in only his second Q3 appearance of the season.
"You want to show each weekend the best that you can do," Palmer told Sky Sports. "I think the result this weekend is -- finally I can say a little bit of good luck -- because there's a few cars ahead that dropped out. We negotiated all of the conditions well but I think this result could have come earlier, maybe at Silverstone or Baku or Spa, where we were really strong.
"But finally we've had a smooth weekend and I hope we can build on this confidence. I'm so happy, it's been a long time coming but everything fell into place. There's six more races and the car's going to be competitive, I'm going to be competitive and we've got to build on it to get some more."
A strong start, coupled with a hectic collision on the opening lap, enabled Palmer to run as high-as-second when the leading runners pitted, before he crossed the line in sixth after coming out on top of a duel with McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne.
"When it rained on the grid you don't really know what to expect," he added. "I was thinking starting 11th in a normal race we'd be in a good position, but the wet changed everything. We made a good start and in the wet we were really strong -- straight up into the top five or six and went from there.
"I felt the grip from the car and had the confidence to just chuck it around. I managed to make a nice pass on Bottas on the re-start at the beginning, so that was a pleasant surprise and then I just went with the guys ahead. The pace was there, I had a great feeling across the wets, the inters, and the slicks and it was just a very smooth race."