After a difficult start to his 2016 Formula 1 season, Fernando Alonso finished the Russian Grand Prix in sixth for McLaren-Honda.
The Spaniard started the Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom in fourteenth. but after a few clashes on Turn Two and Turn Three on the opening lap, Alonso was able to profit to launch himself into the top ten, an advantage he was able to hold onto until the finish.
For Alonso the MP4-31 felt good throughout the race and he also believes that finishing sixth shows that McLaren’s car is still gaining pace, and the team should be aiming for points finishes in all races.
“We were lucky in Turns Two and Three on the opening lap,” said Alonso. “Due to those accidents, we were able to gain some places for free.
“But, as we saw last year, we can make a good start but then not be able to maintain those strong starting positions. This year, it’s different – we have the pace: to finish sixth, and set the fifth-fastest lap, shows that our car is still gaining pace.
“In fact, the car felt good all race – obviously, we were saving fuel at some points of the afternoon, but, on one lap, I just decided to go for it – to wake myself up a little bit! – and the lap-time showed the potential is there. Finishing in the points should be our regular target from now on.”