Fernando Alonso proved his title as the best driver on the grid at today’s Hungarian Grand Prix by finishing in a stunning sixth position, as well as claiming the fastest lap right at the end of the race.
The McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team had looked strong around the circuit all weekend, especially after getting both cars into Q3 in Saturday’s qualifying session. Nevertheless, it was unlikely that they were expecting to finish so high up in the order, admittedly aided by Daniel Ricciardo‘s retirement on the first lap.
“We were probably looking at seventh or eighth position today, but with Ricciardo out of the race, sixth place became possible, and we grabbed it. Still, we worked for that result all weekend – no mistakes, good practice sessions, strong qualifying, and then a perfectly executed race.”
The Hungaroring famously doesn’t require the same levels of power as other circuits and favours the McLaren’s strong chassis, and so the team wanted to gain everything they could from the weekend – which was a double points finish, as Stoffel Vandoorne finished in tenth position.
“There are three or four weekends in a season where we can be competitive, so we need to maximise those and fully capitalise on our potential – and that’s exactly what we did this weekend. Races like Spa and Monza are going to be more difficult for us, so let’s just enjoy this result and think about the difficult ones when they come.”
Alonso battled hard with compatriot Carlos Sainz Jr. throughout the race, eventually with the double world champion coming out on top.
“The battle with Carlos was a close-run thing. We were together at the start, at the restart after the Safety Car; we came into the pits together, we exited together and I knew I had two laps where I could really push and stress the new tyres a little bit.”
“I tried to do that with some kamikaze moves at times because, after those initial two laps, I knew it was going to be impossible. It worked out fine.
“Also, the fastest lap at the end of the race was a surprise – a gift – but one we’ll take!
“It was definitely a good race, so let’s go into the summer break with smiles on our faces.”