Red Bull boss Christian Horner heaped praise on Sergio Perez on Sunday after the Mexican raced from ninth to third at a Hungarian Grand Prix that delivered his Formula One team a record 12th win in a row.
The podium was Perez's sixth from 11 races, a tally that compares poorly to winning teammate and world championship leader Max Verstappen's nine victories and two second places.
The Mexican remains second overall but now a mighty 110 points behind Verstappen and with Australian Daniel Ricciardo moving onto the scene at AlphaTauri as a possible future replacement.
Perez needed to produce a confidence-restoring performance at the Hungaring and, after costly recent mistakes, he delivered.
"I think he drove a great race today," Horner said. "His recovery, his overtaking was brave, his pace was fast. The way he made the places -- passing Carlos [Sainz], passing Fernando [Alonso], passing [Oscar] Piastri, the strategy that he had. He was on fire today.
"A race like that only gives you a huge amount of confidence. His overtaking, the bravery that he showed, For me that was really a statement drive today to say 'Look, don't write me off', and I think this will give him a lot of confidence."
Perez agreed it had been a strong result at a track that is not easy to overtake on.
"I think this sort of performance, [these] sort of days, do help. From now on I just look forward to basically be on the podium every single weekend," he said.
The Mexican had arrived in Budapest with plenty of pressure and made the worst possible start by crashing in Friday's opening practice and then ruining a set of tyres with a flat spot in the second session.
Ninth on the starting grid was an improvement on recent races but still a long way from double world champion Verstappen who qualified on the front row and missed pole by just 0.003 of a second.
"He's in such a difficult, dark place, losing momentum and struggling from race to race," retired 2016 world champion Nico Rosberg had observed of Perez on Saturday in his role of Sky Sports television pundit.
"And on top of that in the next garage, at the Red Bull junior team, they put in Daniel Ricciardo and they say publicly he's ready to go and he's ready to take his place kind of thing. The pressure is maximised."