Fernando Alonso - Photo: Glenn Dunbar/LAT Photographic

Fernando Alonso was relieved to come away with three points from the European Grand Prix this weekend after “a very tough race”.

Starting from eighth on the grid Alonso managed to avoid a repeat of last years race as Jenson Button narrowly avoided him after a failed overtaking maneuver at the start of the race.

Alonso pushed hard through the race but the competitiveness of the other teams forced him to be more on the defence than the offence.

“Sixth place is the best I could do today for my home Grand Prix and the three points are a good result considering that we started eighth. It was a very tough race: first of all because of the heat but also because it was a very competitive race and I had to push all the way, constantly fighting to keep my position.” said the Spaniard

He revealed he was looking forward to the next race at Spa after showing some promise this weekend “We have been quick all weekend and therefore I'm quite confident we can keep this pace and deliver an even better result in Spa.”

Team boss Briatore was satisfied with the race result: “Fernando's race was compromised by yesterday's qualifying, but he did the best he could and brought home three points.”

Romain Grosjean - Photo: Glenn Dunbar/LAT Photographic

Team-mate Romain Grosjean had a tough debut race after being caught up in an incident with a Toyota, he also suffered a slide off track on lap 9 but managed to avoid contact with the barriers to finish fifteenth.

“Unfortunately the first lap didn't go well for me, but during the race there were a lot of positives and I gained some valuable experience.” said Grosjean

Overall he was happy with his performance: “At the start of the race I had to really concentrate and pay attention to everything that was happening around me and after that I just tried to be consistent and set some good lap times. It's clear that I must do better next weekend in Spa and I will aim to put the experience I have gained in Valencia to good use.”

Flavio Briatore was pleased with the young French drivers performance stating “Romain did a very good job throughout his first Grand Prix and I'm sure he will improve rapidly during the rest of the season. The car is competitive and we can hopefully do better next week in Belgium on a more 'traditional' track than here in Valencia.”