Jenson Button came away from the Spanish Grand Prix with a top-10 finish, the McLaren-Honda driver coming home P9 following a consistent and relatively trouble-free run.
Button enjoyed a good launch off the grid when the lights went green, gaining a few spots, and then a couple more through the self-inflicted demise of the Mercedes drivers.
The devised two-stop strategy went according to plan but Button lamented a lack of overall grip which complicate his afternoon run.
"It was a great start, maybe the best one out there, I don't know how, I must have messed it up," Button said.
"The race was tough, no grip at all out there. Fernando and myself were trying different things. He was taking it easier in the first few laps, pushing at the end of the stint.
"I was trying something different but whatever we did there was just no grip out there for us, we really struggled.
And the fight at the end with leaders coming through I just had enough pace that I wasn't holding up the cars behind. So I was able to keep my position, otherwise I would have been jumped by Kvyat."
With Alonso's retirement, reliability still very much remains a focal point at McLaren-Honda, a problem Button believes is a trade off risk associated with the increase in performance.
"It's so difficult this year with the limited engines and so many races. It's tough, we're all pushing as much as we can, we want to see improvements as quick as we can, so you're going to have reliability issues, and we'll take that if we see improvements in the race.
"We got points today and in the last race, so it's moving in the right direction."