Fernando Alonso called his eighth-place finish in Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix "glorious" after struggling with a straight-line speed disadvantage on his McLaren Formula 1 car at Interlagos, forcing him to push hard in order to make up the time through the middle sector of the circuit.

Alonso started sixth in Brazil and made a good start to run fifth under the safety car early on, only to fall back during the race after being passed by Williams' Felipe Massa, as well as losing places to Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo as they fought back through the order.

Alonso went on a late charge and almost passed Massa late on, only to fall short and be left to settle for eighth at the chequered flag - a result that buoyed the Spaniard given McLaren's straight-line speed struggles at a power-sensitive track like Interlagos - as well as managing to soak up late pressure from Force India's Sergio Perez.

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"For sure I had to defend more than to attack. I was trying to pass Massa but it was the same as in Mexico, when I had Hamilton behind me but I had DRS because I was right behind Magnussen and I could defend my position on the straight," Alonso explained.

"When Checo was coming up I knew I could have a bit of a shield if I stayed close to Felipe to open the DRS, so we could defend the position but it’s a shame we have this doubly incredible power deficit.

"Even with the entire deployment, with DRS and full revs they still go away from you on the straights, I think the gap today was 25 kph, with DRS that becomes 40 or 50 kph so it’s really incredible that we managed to beat a few cars.

"This eighth place feels glorious. We lost a lot of points because of small details, lack of reliability and so on, but it’s a good reward for the team to get a few points. I just want to thank the team."

After finishing 10th in Mexico, the result on Sunday saw Alonso record back-to-back points finishes for just the fourth time in the McLaren-Honda era, with his last consecutive scores coming in Brazil and Abu Dhabi last year.