Alonso credits McLaren pitwall for 'happy Sunday'

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Fernando Alonso celebrated his 37th birthday with a P8 finish in Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix, the McLaren driver praising his crew for its points-scoring strategy call.

The Spaniard spent the first 23 laps of the 70-lap event outside of the top ten, having started on Pirelli's supersoft compound but accumulating 39 laps on the tyre.

The extended stint eventually brought him into play for a top ten finish, his spirited drive slotting him in between Haas' Kevin Magnussen and Renault's Carlos Sainz.

"I enjoyed it and it is a happy Sunday and birthday for me," said an enthused Alonso.

"Again, we struggled on Saturday, even with the mixed conditions but then on Sunday we delivered the result and more points for the team.

"We were in a strong position, also with Stoffel [Vandoorne], double points for McLaren, but unfortunately he had a gearbox problem.

"Anyway, I think it was a good and happy day, especially for the strategy. I think the pit wall really did an amazing job today, extending the first stint."

Alonso will enjoy a shorter summer break than his F1 rivals, his Toyota WEC commitment putting the 2017 Le Mans winner back behind the wheel in a fortnight.

"I still have two weeks completely off now," he added.

"I don’t know what I will do in these weeks but yeah, I am looking forward to [the 6 Hours of] Silverstone.

"It is a fantastic circuit, and with an LMP1 car, it will fit quite well to that track."

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