Fifth a ‘nice little present’ for Alonso and McLaren in Hungary

Fernando Alonso felt the fifth place finish at the Hungaroring on Sunday was a ‘nice little present’ after the trials and tribulations his McLaren-Honda team have endured in 2015 so far.

The Spaniard was able to climb up the order as others around him floundered, even surviving a puncture of his own to take his best result of the year. He felt it was important to make the most of the afternoon on a track that is more likely to suit the team than others yet to come this season.

“This was a very good race, and fifth position at the finish is a nice little present for the whole team, particularly as we’re not as competitive as we’d like right now,” said Alonso.

“On the calendar, there are a handful of circuits where we expected our performance to be better – Monaco, Singapore, and here in Hungary, so we knew we needed to make the most of today. Critically, we did just that: it was a chaotic race, and we took advantage of every opportunity that came our way.

“These points are a good way to send the whole team into the summer break, but we need to further maximise our chances in the second half of the season.”

Alonso admitted it was difficult to get into the car and focus on the race after the minute’s silence for Jules Bianchi, who passed away last week, but felt racing was the best way to pay respect to the Frenchman.

“This hasn’t been an easy weekend for anybody in Formula 1 – the minute’s silence for Jules [Bianchi] before the race was very emotional, and it was very tough to get in the cockpit straight afterwards,” revealed Alonso.

“But, today, we respected Jules and we respected the sport.”