It's been a whirlwind weekend for Nyck de Vries, who started off in the cockpit of an Aston Martin for Friday's FP1 session before being told on Saturday he'd be making his F1 race debut in a Williams.
The 27-year-old Dutch driver - and former Formula E world champion - was handed his maiden outing after regular driver Alex Albon was diagnosed with appendicitis shortly before final practice.
Despite the short notice, de Vries went on to finish in 13th place in qualifying, and was then promoted to P8 on the grid for Sunday's Italian Grand Prix because of grid penalties for drivers ahead of him.
He kept a level head when the lights went out and maintained position over the opening laps of the race, and then focused on the battle to stay in the points ahead of Alfa Romeo's Zhou Guanyu and Alpine driver Esteban Ocon.
In the end, Daniel Ricciardo's late retirement and the subsequent finish behind a safety car helped him secure ninth place and two championship points - the team's best result since Miami.
"The whole experience, from yesterday until now, has just been a dream," reported a somewhat dazed de Vries after the chequered flag.
"Jumping on a car on the drivers’ parade and seeing all the excitement for Formula 1; getting the opportunity to race; starting in the top ten; executing a good race; scoring points [on my] debut; being called ‘driver of the day’. It’s been amazing."
Whether his dazzling performance today puts him any closer to picking up a full time race seat in F1 remains very much open, however.
"Ultimately, it’s not up to me to decide whether I should have a seat or not," he said. "I can only do my job.
"We live in a competitive industry, so you’re only as good as your last race. You’re always expected to perform. Luckily I did that this weekend. I grabbed this opportunity with both hands."
Mercedes team principal Nyck de Vries, who helps manage the driver's career, was delighted for his protege: "What else should he do in terms of performance than what he has shown today? No training, jumped in a car that he hadn’t driven, straight into FP3. It showed what he’s capable of doing."
The only blot on de Vries' copybook this weekend was having to report to the stewards to discuss the way that he had defended against Zhou in the closing stages of the race.
It related an incident on the second lap behind the safety car, when de Vries stopped suddenly while running behind Pierre Gasly, having adjusted his speed to remain above the the minimum time required from drivers in such circumstance..
The FIA stewards accepted that the rookie was not completely acquainted with all of the systems on board the car and had not received advice from the team.
"The driver advised that after the second lap under the safety car he was unsure about why his display was showing that he was at risk of being under the delta time," said the stewards' statement.
"At the same time he was dealing with brake issues and was in radio contact with the team over this issue, so did not get any advice from the Team in relation to his delta," it added. "He therefore reduced speed in order to remain above the delta time."
"The stewards took note of the fact that the driver was a 'last minute' replacement for the usual team driver and had driven this car for the first time in FP3 at this event.
"Therefore, in mitigation the stewards decide to impose the penalty of a Reprimand instead of a higher penalty."
De Vries had also been shown the black-and-white flag for exceeding track limits after having three of his laps deleted for going over the white line at the edge of the track, but this was not part of the post-race investigation.
It means that de Vries keeps ninth place and the two championship points he won today.
His more experienced team mate Nicholas Latifi, who has been with Williams for over two and a half seasons, finished in penultimate place in 14th after having being lapped early in the afternoon.