Alonso happy to go the distance

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Fernando Alonso considered that McLaren's target was achieved this weekend in China with himself and team mate Jenson Button bringing both cars home to the chequered flag.

As the Honda-powered cars continue to gain important mileage, the Spaniard raced to twelfth place after a fairly uneventful race, albeit one in which McLaren progressed while still remaining at the lower end of the competitive scale.

"Obviously it was tough for us as we knew we would not be super competitive here, but the fact that we achieved our target of finishing the race with both cars is very useful. It was also important for me as my longest runs up to now were 12 laps during the winter and 22 laps in Malaysia."

Alonso emphasised that the team was still at a stage of gathering as much information and data as possible, but believes it may also be nearing a considerable move forward. "We keep progressing, so hopefully this will have been one of our last few races where we were lapped and at the back, and we can start to enjoy things a little bit more."

Alonso also capitalized on a race incident involving Button and Pastor Maldonado, although the Spaniard was at that stage faster than both men thanks to a fresher set of rubber. "I had an advantage with my newer soft tyres and was preparing to attack both of them, but in the end it wasn't necessary as they touched each other and I took the opportunity."

With Ron Dennis present in the McLaren garage, and appearing very much hands on over the Chinese weekend, the team is pulling out all the stops to move up the ranks.

"We are all satisfied with the progress of the car," concluded Alonso. "It's improving a lot, every weekend, the power unit, the aerodynamics, the reliability, everything is getting better so we're all very happy. The starting point was very low and the first few races were a test for us, but we will back to a competitive level very soon."

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