Pierre Gasly's drive to fourth place in the Bahrain Grand Prix "made a man out of him", according to Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko.
The French, in only his seventh Formula 1 race, gave the Toro Rosso-Honda package its first points of the season with a sensational drive to fourth.
It was the best result for the Honda engine since it returned to the sport in 2015.
Gasly had started from fifth on the grid following Toro Rosso's "huge step forward" from Melbourne, but Marko admitted today's result came as a surprise.
"That made a man out of him," said Marko. "His reward is the fourth place. All our drivers have a very good bonus system. This will more than please him.
"I didn't expect a fourth place that early – but it's a positive development. It was the target to challenge the midfield with this engine. Not here, but in the first half of the season."
Team boss Franz Tost hailed Gasly's drive as flawless.
"Pierre has done an incredibly good job, I must say," said Tost. "Also yesterday in qualifying he got everything together.
"And today a good start. Fantastic how he fought at the beginning against Magnussen, defending very, very hard and he brought it home without any mistakes, nothing. Very good job."
Asked if he expected such a performance from a rookie, Tost said: "Otherwise he would not be a Red Bull Junior driver and he would not be at Toro Rosso. I expected it."
Gasly, who made his grand prix debut last year in Malaysia, admitted it had been an "emotional" race.
"It was just an amazing feeling just trying to realise, because you put so much focus, so much energy," he said. "It's mentally tiring, you have to take care of all the things: the tyres, the fuel, the battery, the gap behind.
"Just trying to take care of anything and put some really good laps. And you just completely release everything and the emotions come.
"I'm quite emotional in these sort of situations, so I was just super happy."
Additional reporting by Dominik Sharaf, Oleg Karpov and Erwin Jaeggi