Fernando Alonso has hailed Alpine's point-scoring comeback at the Spanish Grand Prix as being like a race win after "sacrificing" the weekend with a power unit change.
The Spaniard qualified only 17th for his home race after a gaffe left him with no hope of making an improvement on his final lap in Q1, with the team opting to change his engine ahead of the race.
Starting last on the grid in searing heat at a circuit often devoid of overtaking, the two-time champion scythed his way up to ninth through a mixture of strategic brilliance and some stunning manoeuvres.
"I am very happy," enthused Alonso. "Finishing in the points is always the target at every weekend.
"For us, after the bad qualifying, the decision to change the engine overnight in a way was sacrificing this weekend knowing it was very difficult to get points. So now that we got this P9, it feels like a victory really and it feels good.
"Hopefully, we can start from here. Maybe five, eight or 10 consecutive races in the points is what we need."
Alonso on "magic" weekend in front of home support
For the first time since Alonso's championship-winning seasons of 2005 and 2006, the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya was at capacity with adoring support for both the Alpine driver and Carlos Sainz.
On the 121,000 Spanish crowd, Alonso added: "It was magic. It was special to race in front of the supporters.
"When we changed the engine and started last it hurt because it is your home grand prix and inside your head, you have sacrificed the weekend by changing the engine and as I said, being in the points feels very good.
"The race was well managed, the pace and tyre management. I had two warnings when outside of turn 12 so I was worried I could make another mistake and have a penalty so I was very careful of that."
Additional reporting by Sam Hall