Fernando Alonso: “It was a shame to lose out”

Fernando Alonso admitted it was a nice surprise to see both himself and McLaren-Honda team-mate Jenson Button finish inside the top ten at the Sochi Autodrom, although he also lamented a penalty for track limit offences that relegated him to eleventh post-race.

The Spaniard had been warned during the race for cutting corners, and was then handed a five second penalty that saw him fall behind the Scuderia Toro Rosso of Max Verstappen in the final result, but felt the performance of his MP4/30 was above his pre-race expectations.

“To have both cars finish in the top 10 at a circuit where we didn’t expect to fare well, was a nice surprise,” said Alonso. “It was just a shame to lose out afterwards.

“In fact, the car performed very well in the race – I think we were able to look after the tyres a little bit better than the cars around us, and, on an afternoon where every little bit helped, we made the most of that.

“We’ll now hope for more performance at the next race, in the USA. It’ll be tough, and we’ll have to remain realistic, but I’m definitely happy with today’s result.

“Now, we can keep moving forwards and improve things for the future.”