Fernando Alonso has hailed his current season with Alpine as one of his two best in F1 - even beating his two title-winning campaigns.
Alonso, who made his debut in 2001 with Minardi, was champion in 2004 and 2005 with Renault.
Even though the Alpine driver is only ninth in this year's drivers' championship with a best finish of fifth, he was asked if this season was one of his best, to which he replied: “I do enjoy, for sure. I am happy with the performance this year.
“We would love to fight for championships or podiums or race wins but we don’t have that possibility yet.
"We lost a good 40 to 50 points at the beginning of the year with reliability issues and with those points, the situation in the championship would be different, also with McLaren in the fight for the constructors'.
“I am happy and proud of the performance and I think together with 2012 [his third season with Ferrari], probably they have been my best two seasons, even higher than the championships ones when we had a dominant car in those years.”
Alonso says Alpine podium needs help from rivals
The 41-year-old Spanish driver, who recently announced a move to Aston Martin for next season, struggled in his comeback campaign last year but has enjoyed the cars built to the new regulations and feels he is now “on a good run”.
Alonso has scored points in each of the last 10 races, with two sixths and a season-best fifth in the last four, in particular, feels a podium is just out of Alpine's reach unless help is provided.
He added: “We found some consistency, even though the last 10 races were not completely out of trouble for us.
“One of those was Barcelona, we changed the engine, we started last. One was Austria, where the car didn’t start in the sprint race.
"We still need to improve things to have clean weekends and if we do we will be in the points.
“We are in the same place as we have been all year long, we are right behind the top three teams, so our natural position is seventh or eighth.
"We need help from cars in front [to achieve podiums].”