Adrian Sutil delivered Force India's best performance of the season as he finished a strong sixth at his home grand prix in Germany.
Sutil enjoyed a relatively quiet run to sixth, even passing compatriot Nico Rosberg in the pit stops, but said the clean air had allowed him to fully demonstrate the potential of the car.
"It was a great race today and I'm so pleased to get this result for the team because we really deserved it," Sutil said. "We had a great car all weekend and everything just went perfectly. I spent most of the time running in clean air so I could really show the potential of the car, and to get this result in my home race also makes it extra special.
"This is just the start though, because we still have lots of work to do in the coming races to score lots of points and catch up with the teams ahead of us."
Teammate Paul di Resta said Sutil's pace was a small consolation for his own race, which was compromised by a clash with Nick Heidfeld on the opening lap.
"Once again it's a frustrating end to my weekend because I had a great chance to score some points today. It's a shame because we came here with a great package and we had a good strategy for the race. I pushed hard to recover, but points were just out of reach today. The good news is that Adrian has brought in a lot of points and showed just how competitive the car is."