FORMULA One rookie Ralph Firman of Jordan made a vain effort to hold off Sauber Petronas' Heinz-Harald Frentzen for ninth place in the Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang F1 Circuit yesterday.
He ran out of fuel in the final lap and watched helplessly as Frentzen overtook him.
But a 10th-place finish can be considered a good result for the 27-year-old Firman, who did not complete the race in the season's opener in Melbourne two weeks ago.
“I really worked hard to stay ahead of the others in today's race, said Firman.
“It was shame that I ran out off fuel in the final lap. But the Sepang race was a good start to my career and I look forward for better result in the next race in Brazil.
“I glad I finished the race this time. My teammate had to retire with mechanical problems in the first lap and I could not let my team down after that.”
Giancarlo Fisichella had to retire after the first lap because of problems with his launch control.
Firman, who finished in 1'33:51.715 was even more pleased to note that he finished ahead of the more established Juan Pablo Montoya of the BMW Williams. Montoya was placed 12th.
He was also the best finisher among the F1 rookies. Panasonic Toyota Racing's Cristiona Da Matta came in 11th while Jaguar's Antonio Pizzonia and Minardi's Justin Wilson failed to finish the race.