Lance Stroll suggested that an even stronger result was on the table for Aston Martin, if not for its botched Sao Paulo Grand Prix starts.
In both the original and red flag standing starts, Stroll's AMR23 appeared to bog down off the line, costing him positions, while team-mate Fernando Alonso also fell back after slow launches.
Using a hybrid 'mix-and-match' approach to the upgrades on the car, Aston Martin was able to put in its best performance since the Belgian GP with a third for Alonso and fifth for Stroll as he scored his second-best result of the year.
Despite the strong performance, the Canadian believed the team leta potential better result slip away.
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"It was both starts, even on the second start, we were both pretty poor compared to the Mercedes and Red Bulls," Stroll told media including RacingNews365.
"So it was kind of a bummer, and without that, I think there was maybe another couple of positions in it, but it is what it is."
Stroll scored more points with the 10 he hauled at Interlagos than he had done so in the 11 previous races, stretching back to the British Grand Prix (nine), and felt the AMR23 had re-discovered some of its lost pace.
"We learned a bunch of things over the last couple of months, and we didn't have pace like this," he said.
"I can't really remember [when we did have such good pace], it was probably like Canada or Austria, so it is really positive.
"We will have to look into the data and understand [everything] with the car this weekend, but we've definitely been competitive."