Fernando Alonso has conceded Alpine is "very far" from returning to the F1 podium, claiming the team needs "chaotic" races to succeed.
Daniel Ricciardo's victory for McLaren in Monza has left Alonso as the highest placed driver yet to finish in the top three this season.
In Hungary, when team-mate Esteban Ocon made the most of the opening-lap melee, Alonso finished fourth despite putting up a stout defence against Lewis Hamilton.
Asked how close Alpine was to scoring a second top-three result of the season, Alonso said: “Very far.
"I think we are the fifth or sixth quickest team out there and so for us to get a podium we really need a very chaotic race and without that I think, by good performance, the top six, top seven I think is our maximum position.
“We did achieve that in a few races this year and I am happy with the consistency."
After initially struggling to get back up to speed after spending two years away from F1, Alonso has scored points in all but one of the last nine races and has suffered only one retirement.
“You need to be super-lucky to get one podium," he explained. "I was not so far and I don’t expect to be in the remaining races.
“If it comes, obviously, it will be welcome but I think we need to work on realistic expectations.”
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