Sebastian Vettel revealed Aston Martin's "homework" surrounding the changes to Pirelli's tyre framework paid dividends as the team secured a double points finish in the French Grand Prix.
The German began the race in 12th with team-mate Lance Stroll 19th and at the back of the grid - AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda started from the pitlane - after a disappointing qualifying.
But an alternative strategy to start on the hard tyres suited the high degradation at Paul Ricard as the team showed further signs of improvement since returning to F1.
Tyre graining dictated the race strategy as morning rain effectively reset the track conditions, washing any rubber laid down by the drivers over the weekend and promoting more lateral sliding when cornering.
Vettel cited the rise in tyre pressures mandated by Pirelli as the main reason for the graining.
"There was more graining but it was also due to the higher running pressures, I believe," he told Sky Sports F1.
"The temperatures were not so hot today, to be honest, but the wind made it very tricky and the cars were sliding.
"So we expected it to be a difficult race and it turned out to be on tyres so we did our homework and we got the maximum out of us today."
Vettel rues anti-climax in hunt for more points
Despite a disappointing start to life at Aston Martin, three consecutive points finishes, including a podium in Baku, have left Vettel in the top 10 in the drivers' standings.
Asked if the race at Paul Ricard was enjoyable as he added to his tally, Vettel responded: "Yeah, I don't know.
"The start was not that good, I think I lost a place and I think I lost a place in the opening corners to Antonio [Giovinazzi] I believe but I got it back and got Esteban [Ocon] so that was good, the first couple of laps.
"We obviously were on a different strategy, we started on the hards which were very difficult to hold onto.
"The conditions today were tricky. The tyres today, it was difficult for everybody but in the end, we can be very happy with points.
"A bit of an anti-climax with the group ahead of me, I was catching but just running out of laps but overall, it is good to have also both cars in the points."
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