Fernando Alonso is looking forward to races where McLaren is not being lapped by its rivals after the ignominy of his former team-mate calling for him to be moved aside.

Kimi Raikkonen was typically vocal over team radio as he caught both McLaren drivers in the Chinese Grand Prix, but Alonso insists that it won't be long before the Woking squad is a legitimate contender. Although he and team-mate Jenson Button finished a lowly twelfth and 14th - after starting 17th and 18th - in Shanghai, the Spaniard is confident that the information gleaned over the first three races of 2015 will eventually propel McLaren firmly into the midfield - and then beyond.

"It was not the easiest race for us," he said of the Chinese Grand Prix, "We were not very competitive, and also we had some issues in the middle stint, but our pace is what it is at the moment and finishing with both cars is very good for us to keep learning. Hopefully, we can improve for Bahrain."

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Although he eventually finished ahead of Button, after the Briton was caught up in a late-race incident with Pastor Maldonado's Lotus, Alonso spent most of the race behind him, his cause not helped by an aerodynamic complication which affected his handling midway through the race.

"We had a small issue in the middle stint with the aerodynamics of the car, so we had some extra oversteer that we needed to control," he admitted, "So we are not so fast, and we also have problems when we go slowly!"

Completing a 55-lap race distance was breaking now ground for Alonso, who had previously managed a maximum of twelve laps in winter testing and 22 in the Malaysian Grand Prix - he missed Melbourne with concussion symptoms - but the Spaniard admitted that is was not nice to once again see his former team lap him so readily.

"I was a little bit embarrassed not to be quick enough today, but I think it was a very useful race for us," he repeated, "It was obviously tough for us as we knew we were not super-competitive here, but the goal was to finish the race and we made it with both cars. We keep learning, we keep progressing and, hopefully, this is one of the last few races where we are lapped and at the back and we can start enjoying it a little bit more. We know it's the way it is at the moment, but we think it is not going to be for too long, just a few races at the beginning [of the season].

"The car is improving a lot every weekend - power unit, aerodynamics, reliability, everything is better and better - so we are all very happy. The only [problem] is that the starting point is too low, so these first couple of races are a test for us. But we want to come back in competitive races very soon...."