Melbourne, Mar 28 (IANS): Force India's Vitantonio Liuzzi drove a beautifully controlled race to finish an impressive seventh in an action-packed Australian Formula One Grand Prix here Sunday.
Liuzzi, who started 13th from the grid, completed the 58-lap race at seventh position, 59.8 secs behind the winner McLaren's Jenson Button (1:33:36), to score points for the second successive race.
Liuzzi, an Italian, had finished ninth at Bahrain Grand Prix and took his points tally to eight after adding six from Sunday's race.
Liuzzi's teammate Adrian Sutil missed out on a points despite starting from the top 10. The German, who started 10th on the grid, had to retire from the race.
India's Karun Chandhok of Hispania managed well to finish at 14th place.
It was an incident packed race with high drama from the first to the last of the 58 laps. There were lots of overtaking manoeuvres than sometimes seen in an entire season, thanks to the rain which fell in the early stages.
Reigning world champion Button drove a tactically brilliant race even as an intense fight was on behind him.
Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber were locked up in a fabulous fight and as Hamilton was obliged to back off a fraction, Webber charged into the back of him, spinning them both off on lap 56.
Behind them, Liuzzi kept his cool, dealing with Pedro de la Rosa's BMW Sauber and holding eighth until the Webber-Hamilton incident elevated him to seventh. Hamilton (McLaren) finished sixth pushing Red Bull's Webber to ninth.
Liuzzi said it was a "crazy" race and a brilliant finish for his team.
"Another great race and another great result for the team," said Liuzzi.
"It's a confirmation of the pace we showed in Bahrain and the work the team did over the winter," added the Italian, ninth in the season opener.
"We worked hard all weekend for this seventh place and it's a brilliant result at the end of what was a crazy race.
"At the beginning of the race on the intermediate tyres we were struggling a little and lost a few positions but after I pitted for the dry tyres I was able to recover and stay on the race pace.
"Towards the end of the race the rear tyres were going off a lot as I had been on them for a long time, but it was just enough to hold onto the position. I think it was another perfect weekend and now we can look forward to Malaysia."
Sutil was disappointed at missing a good opportunity to log points.
"We seemed to have a problem with the engine very early on in the race," said Sutil, who finished 12th in Bahrain.
"I was driving on just four cylinders and then lost the power and that was it really. It was a shame as we were looking good after the start.
"It's good news for the team that Tonio got some more points and I'll be looking to bring my points on board at the next race."