Fernando Alonso says McLaren can expect 'success soon' if it continues at its current rate of improvement, despite the team suffering a double DNF in the Malaysian Grand Prix.

The Spaniard got as high as eighth at one stage on his return to F1 action in the Honda-powered McLaren and though he was out-of-sync in terms of pit-stop, he says he thinks a top ten finish was in the offing.

Nonetheless, though an ERS problem would halt him on lap 21 - before Jenson Button followed suit shortly afterwards -, Alonso was impressed by the 'surprisingly good' pace and convinced the team is heading in the right direction to reach its objectives.

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"The pace was surprisingly good, we were running with the pack and even catching the Red Bulls at the end before the pit stops. It was a nice surprise and hopefully in China we can make another step forward.

"These reliability problems are normal and without winter testing, what you normally find in winter testing we have to find in the first couple of races unfortunately. But we need to accept maybe some retirements and we are ready to do so.

"Definitely it has been a very nice weekend and a very nice surprise to see the improvement from Australia to Malaysia. If we keep this rate we will enjoy [success] very soon."