Sunday, 16 september 2018, 12:13 , by Martin Macdonald
Fernando Alonso was, for once, able to bring a smile to post-race discussions, declaring himself 'really happy' with his seventh-placed finish at the Singapore Grand Prix, and added that he and the McLaren team 'executed our race strategy to perfection'.
In a season marred by numerous DNF's and a distinct lack of pace, McLaren at last had something to cheer with the Spaniard finishing best of the rest behind the big three constructors, and Stoffel Vandoorne getting his car around without issue to finish in 12th.
Alonso has all too often been frustrated by the team's performance, which has been a contributory factor in his decision to take a sabbatical from F1 next year, but here, at least, he could give thanks to his team.
He said: "Really happy with seventh. Normally something happens in front of us, but today all top six cars finished the race so seventh is a small win for us. We executed the race to perfection today. Good strategy, good tyre selection and good points.
“I think the car was behaving very good and we are seventh, behind the top six, so a small win for us and a lot of points for the team and happy for that. Eventually we were the fastest car on track at some point, so that makes me happy at this difficult circuit.”
But as happy as Alonso was he still feels that the car's performance is likely to be variable on the tracks remaining this season, and that not too much has been altered to make this race more successful.
He added: “I think the car is exactly the same as previous. I think it’s just the track characteristics that are better for our package.
“I think it’s going to be up-and-down for the remaining races. Some of the races we may be competitive, some others maybe not so much. The target will be to keep scoring points on Sundays and help the team in the constructors’ championship.”