Carlos Sainz's first podium finish in Formula 1 was confirmed after an agonising wait for stewards to rule on DRS use under yellow flags at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Sainz was not on the rostrum at Interlagos, as Lewis Hamilton finished third, however the Mercedes man was given a five-second time penalty for causing a collision with Alexander Albon.
A penalty for the Mercedes driver seemed a near certainty, but he was still allowed to celebrate alongside race-winner Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly, who took his first podium finish in a thrilling encounter.
Sainz also has a top-three finish to celebrate for the first time in F1, although the Spaniard's celebrations were confined to the paddock more than two hours after the race was finished.
Such a loft position was unlikely 24 hours previously, when he did not set a time in qualifying and started the race dead last - McLaren opted to take a new engine as a result.
He made a one-stop strategy pay in a race that featured late chaos and two safety-car restarts. The first of which was triggered by Valtteri Bottas suffering an engine blowout, with Sainz using DRS while the yellow flags were waving.
However, he was not deemed to have driven dangerously and kept hold of the P3 he inherited post-race.
It is McLaren's first podium since Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen were classified in the top three at the 2014 Australian GP - the first race of the V6 Hybrid era.
The result also secured fourth place in the constructors' championship for McLaren, their highest finish since 2012.
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