Fernando Alonso says Hungarian GP fastest lap a 'gift' to go with Top 6 finish
The Spaniard had a fighting Hungarian Grand Prix to record his best result of the season.
Fernando Alonso maximised the opportunity in the Hungarian Grand Prix to record his best finish of the season in sixth - and also attain the fastest lap of the race.
The Spaniard lost a position to fellow countryman Carlos Sainz at the start, after Red Bull Racing's Daniel Ricciardo retired due to an incident with teammate.
After that, it was Alonso putting all his experience to get past the Toro Rosso, with the the duo staying together even during the pit stop.
Eventually, on Lap 45 the McLaren driver found a way past to take sixth and held on to finish there comfortably - also clocking the fastest lap of 1m20.182s on the final lap of the grand prix.
"Definitely the fastest lap is a surprise, no doubt. I think the P6, obviously with Ricciardo out, we were hoping for seventh-eighth, so sixth was possible and we took it.
"We know that there are three or four weekends in the year that we will feel competitive, we will be competitive, so we need to maximize those.
"We need to capitalize on that potential and I think that’s what we did this weekend, no mistakes from anyone, maximizing the potential.
"Sixth is the best result possible and the fastest lap is a surprise, a gift, we take it, happy for that but I think it was a little bit unexpected."
Regarding his fight with Sainz, he said: "It was close at the times, the start and Turn 2 and then other re-start, and then we came to to the pit together, we exit together again.
"I knew that I had two laps where the new tyres you can really push and stress the tyre little bit, so I try to do that with some kamikaze moves at time.
"But I had to try because after those two laps I knew that it was impossible anymore, so I tried and it worked fine but Carlos did an amazing job again, you know seventh, we both should be very happy and proud."
Teammate Stoffel Vandoorne finished 10th to make it a double points finish for the Woking-based outfit. His race was compromised due to a pit stop error, but the Belgian recovered well to finish in the Top 10.
"We are happy for the team to have both cars in the points today. From my side a little bit extra was possible after a little mistake in the pit stop that cost me some time, " he said.
"But nonetheless, I think the pace in the race was encouraging, we were definitely quicker than the Force Indias.
"But overtaking around here we know, it’s very difficult, so in the end we got points, so it is a good weekend for the team," he added.
The result allowed for McLaren-Honda to move ahead of Sauber in the championship, heading into the summer break.
Alonso celebrated the result sitting on the deckchair on top of the painting of him in the parc ferme, during the podium celebrations.