For the second time in 2016, Fernando Alonso started at the back of the grid but recovered to score points as the McLaren-Honda driver finished seventh in the Malaysian Grand Prix.
New engine components across the weekend saw the Spaniard start twenty-second and last, but jumped a number of positions at the start as other drivers got involved in incidents, and then drove strongly to claim six points.
Alonso was also closing the gap to Sergio Perez in sixth across the final laps but was unable to get close enough to challenge for an even better result, but felt he got good luck to get where he did.
“It was definitely a very exiting race for us today, with some great battles,” said Alonso. “Having started from the very back, we recovered some good places at the start – and were lucky not to get caught up in the first-corner accident. I was actually surprised by my position, because I’d already got into the points after just a bunch of laps.
“At that point, we had some debate over the radio about the strategy – about whether to be aggressive or more conservative. Eventually, we decided to attack and use all the new sets of Option tyres we had left over from qualifying. The final Virtual Safety Car certainly played in our favour, because it allowed us to use the last new set.
“After this weekend’s penalties, we needed some luck – and we got that today!”