First points for Alonso and McLaren in race 'we should have won'

© XPB 

Fernando Alonso steered his way past chaos, collisions, debris, penalties, multiple Safety Car periods and a mid-race stoppage to finish P9 and score McLaren-Honda’s first points of the season.

The Spaniard ran as high as fifth as events unfolded ahead but could not prevent his faster rivals from gaining an upper hand, sending him down to ninth where he would end the memorable and incident-packed afternoon.

In a race of attrition and unforeseen circumstances, Alonso reckons McLaren could have won in Baku, at least in normal circumstances, i.e. a faster car down the straights.

"It was a race that in normal circumstances we should have won," said Alonso, "because I was with Ricciardo when the first safety car came out.

"Hamilton lost his headrest, Vettel was penalised, both the Force Indias were out, Kimi retired...

"So you are automatically in the top two or three, so we should have fought for victory, but unfortunately we are not in that position," he added.

Alonso was nevertheless happy to put his and McLaren-Honda's first points of 2017 on the board, an unexpected result on a track which only enhanced his power unit's chronic weakness. 

"In our case everything worked in our favour," he said.

"It's one of those days when you win places by elimination for free, but then it's a shame we can't keep it because of our current deficiencies.

"Scoring two points in Baku was impossible to think [of] before coming here, so it's welcome."

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