The Alpine driver held position off the line before pulling off a wonderful move on Pierre Gasly for second early on and whilst the Spaniard was unable to fend off a charging Verstappen, he held on for third to secure his first podium since Hungary 2014.
“Finally," said a jubilant Alonso. “Unbelievable!
"Seven years, but finally we got it. We were close at a couple of races but not [close] enough. Sochi was the last possibility and here today, honestly, I thought [I could] be leading after lap one.
“I thought with the red tyre I could have a go on Lewis but I couldn’t and then with Checo it was very close at the end.
“I am so happy for the team. Also with Esteban [Ocon] P5, it was a good Sunday.”
A number of drivers running a one-stop strategy suffered punctures in the later stages of the race including Valtteri Bottas and George Russell, but Alonso was able to successfully manage his tyres to last the distance.
“We planned a one-stop from the beginning but we never knew how bad was the wear and the degradation," Alonso explained.
"It was a new race for everybody but I think it was quite well executed the race. The pit stop was fantastic, the team was great, the reliability of the car is superb and they deserve it.
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