Bruno Senna is confident his seventh place in the Hungarian Grand Prix will be a turning point for his 2012 season.

The Brazilian has struggled to match the performances of Williams team-mate Pastor Maldonado, but scored his second best result of the year on Sunday, having started from ninth place.

Senna, who made it to Q3 for the first time this season on Saturday, believes the Hungaroring weekend could be the turning point that sees him enjoy a stronger second half of the year.

“Today was a nice race,” said Senna. “We pushed very hard on the strategy to make it work especially as the track conditions and the weather were very different from what we were expecting, so I’m happy with the team and I hope we can carry this momentum on.

“There were a lot of battles for me and it was hard to keep the tyres alive because the temperatures were so high, but it’s good to start in ninth place and finish in seventh. I think this is a turning point for us.

“The race was good, it was a fun weekend, the team are happy and the break is now welcome as it will be a chance to rest before we continue to push in the second part of the season.”

Team-mate Maldonado finished in 13th position after having to serve a drive-through penalty for a clash with Force India’s Paul di Resta which the Venezuelan described as “light contact”.

“It was a difficult race today,” he said. “I had a bad start and lost a lot of positions which compromised our race from the beginning. It was hard to keep good pace in the traffic and then we also had to serve a drive-through penalty. I was on the limit racing Di Resta when I locked the brakes and lost some grip, but I was on the inside of the corner and so there was some light contact.

“We had to concentrate on tyre management today and we gathered a lot of information for the future. We weren’t as competitive as we have been, but we now need to work hard to focus on the second part of the season after the summer break.”