Alonso labels P7 McLaren's best weekend of 2016

© XPB 

Fernando Alonso believes seventh place in the Hungarian Grand Prix represents McLaren's best performance so far in 2016.

Having been seventh in every practice session, Alonso qualified in the same position and duly finished the race seventh on Sunday after getting the better of Carlos Sainz at the start of the race. Kimi Raikkonen's recovery to sixth ensured Alonso was the top ranked car outside of Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari, and despite a fifth place in Monaco the Spaniard labelled the race as McLaren's best this year.

“In the end I was seventh also in the race, my position for the whole weekend," Alonso said. "It was a bit of a boring race, from us and for the fans – I think only Jenson retired with an oil issue – but it was a good race for us, where we could score good points.

"We had a good start, we managed to do as many laps as planned with the supersoft tyres and then also with the softs. I’m happy to be best of the rest, because Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari are way ahead of the rest of us. This is the battle we can have, and we did our best.

"In Monaco we were fifth but we were a bit lucky, so I think this was the best weekend we’ve had this year in terms of pace from start to finish."

And Alonso says it was important McLaren took its opportunity as he believes it will struggle at circuits such as Spa and Monza after the summer break.

"Carlos and I had a similar pace, almost in the same tenth, and to be able to pass him at the start was fundamental for the final result. I was on the clean side of track and that was a bit lucky.

"The progression of the team is very positive, we’re having a good run now, we’ll have another race next weekend, the fourth from this marathon that is July, and I hope we can score points again, at this level, but I think it will be difficult.

"After the summer break there will be some pretty tough races for us, we’ll suffer a lot, so we have to make the most out of this kind of tracks to score as many points as possible."

Having been given a final warning for exceeding track limits on three occasions, Alonso admits he was cautions for the final part of the race in order to avoid a penalty.

"I was aware of the track limits but I don’t know where the third moment happened, so for the last 20 laps I was one metre away from the limits! That was quite stressful, but it’s the way it is, the system worked fine all weekend."

REPORT: Hamilton holds off Rosberg to take championship lead

AS IT HAPPENED: Hungarian Grand Prix

Breakfast with ... Marc Surer

Silbermann says ... Birds on the wire

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter