Monte Carlo:Vijay Mallya's die-hard optimism finally gave away and the Force India owner could not hide his disappointment after Adrian Sutil's fairytale race in the Monaco Grand Prix came to a heart-breaking end on Sunday.
Sutil was running fourth and with seven minutes to go looked certain to pocket four championship points when Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen rammed into the back of the VJM01 car he was driving, putting paid to his hopes of a dream-come-true finish in the most glamorous of the Formula One race.
With what could be the team's first points of the season slipping through his fingers, Sutil was seen breaking down in tears at the garage.
His Italian teammate Giancarlo Fisichella suffered a gearbox problem and retired from his 200th Grand Prix starts on lap 39.
"It was the saddest moment of my motorsports career," a dejected Mallya later said in a statement.
"To achieve a top 5 position in Formula One and that too in Monaco was a dream that ended just seven minutes and less than five laps from the chequered flag with Kimi Raikonnen's Ferrari running into the rear of Sutil's car," he said.
Mallya said Sutil drove an excellent race and exhibited exemplary car control in wet and slippery conditions to prove conclusively to the world that he is an exceptionally talented driver.
Still it was not all doom and gloom at Monaco for Mallya, who took a positive view of things.
"All members of the Force India Formula One team came together and executed a brilliant race strategy and car set up. We have demonstrated that we are a much improved and competitive team now and we certainly had an opportunity to score championship points today," he said.
"This performance in Monaco has given a huge boost to the confidence of the team and our drivers. Though we are sadly disappointed we will take away many positives and renew our determination to demonstrate further improvement over the rest of the season," Mallya added.