Hersham's Sam Bird may have seen his World Series by Renault 3.5 title hopes suffer a blow in Hungary at the weekend, but he is still a star in his boss' eyes.
The 25-year-old ISR driver, who was in France last week testing for F1 team Mercedes AMG Petronas, finished 10th and fourth in two rounds at the Hungaroring on Saturday and Sunday.
The results have seen him slip back to third in the race for the drivers' championship crown and is now 27 points adrift of leader Robin Frijns, who finished first and fifth in the two races.
But ISR team principle Igor Salaquarda admitted the disappointing return was more to do with the team than the driver.
"This weekend was a very difficult one for team I.S.R. Despite our best efforts we really struggled with the set-up of the cars and were never able to give our drivers a package they could compete
properly with," he said.
"Sam's issues were further compounded by engine problems that lead to an engine change on Saturday night.
"The fact that Sam managed to get a point yesterday and only narrowly missed out on a podium today is quite exceptional and testament to his considerable talent and fighting spirit.
"We will regroup as a team and come back stronger for the next round."
The WSR championship heads to the Paul Ricard circuit in France on September 29 before the final race weekend of the season in Catalunya on October 20.