Michael Schumacher left the Hungaroring cursing a missed opportunity after retiring from the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The Ferrari driver was on course for a comfortable second behind Jenson Button when a track rod problem forced him out just three laps from the end.
He was classified ninth but earned a point when Robert Kubica was disqualified, bringing him within ten of Fernando Alonso, who had crashed earlier.
Schumacher still felt a chance had been missed, saying: "Of course I am very disappointed. We had a great opportunity but we did not take it."
Alonso was relieved to escape with his standings lead still largely intact after a failure on his Renault pitched him into the barriers.
"Even though I am disappointed, everything is relative," the world champion said.
In the absence of the two title rivals, and pole position man Kimi Raikkonen, the podium had an odd look to it at the end of a chaotic race.
Raikkonen's shunt with Vitantonio Liuzzi was one of many on a track which was sodden after morning rain.
The Finn's McLaren teammate Pedro de la Rosa was among the first to be caught out when he spun on the way to the grid but he kept his head in the race to take second place.
That is his best Formula One result but it came after a battle with Schumacher which he claimed over-stepped the boundaries of fair play.
Schumacher robustly defended second, with the cars touching at one stage, before cutting a chicane in a desperate bid to hold position - and then refusing to give way.
De la Rosa said: "That nearly caused me a crash. He was defending too much for his pace."
The Spaniard's pace rescued a positive result for McLaren after Raikkonen's accident, which came when Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Liuzzi slowed suddenly. Raikkonen said: "I could do nothing to avoid the collision. He really slowed on the racing line and there was nowhere for me to go."
Raikkonen's former Sauber team-mate Nick Heidfeld delivered the first podium for the team since they were bought by BMW last year.