Auckland teenager Mitch Evans made a stunning debut in GP2 at the Malaysian Grand Prix yesterday, finishing on the podium in just his second race in the more powerful F1 feeder category.
The 18-year-old rookie started the 22-lap "reverse top eight" sprint race at the Sepang circuit from 10th on the grid and was up to fourth by the end of an eventful first lap,
Fabio Leimer and James Calado finished first and second in the Saturday feature race but tangled on the first lap, while Sam Bird lost fourth place soon after the start.
"How was that?" exclaimed the youngest driver in the field as he headed for the podium.
"I just had my head down all during the race, but I kept telling myself - get to the end, get to the end.
"I was trying to save the tyres because you don't pit for a change during the sprint race. I was hoping the performance wouldn't drop off."
Evans shadowed Stephane Richelmi for 15 laps before his pressure finally paid off with six laps to the finish.
Richelmi ran wide and Evans slipped through into third.
"I'd saved my tyres to have a crack at him. I could see he was struggling and then he made a little mistake and I was through.
"The car was a lot better than it was in the Saturday race. My Arden team did a great job."
•Three-time defending champion Sebastian Vettel held off Red Bull teammate Mark Webber in a scintillating battle to win the Malaysian Grand Prix last night.
Vettel, who earlier in the race complained to the team about Webber's slow pace, battled the Australian for much of the race, with the cars almost touching as the German grabbed the lead on the 46th lap for his 27th victory.
Lewis Hamilton was third ahead of Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg.
It was a disastrous day for Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, who crashed out of the race on the second lap.