Fernando Alonso may have been battling for points in the Australian Grand Prix at the wheel of the troublesome McLaren-Honda but the former champion says there are barely positives away from an 'uncompetitive' opening round to the 2017 F1 season because he is driving at his best.

Despite a pre-season hampered by persistent technical issues, Alonso enjoyed a relatively trouble-free weekend in the MCL32 and ran inside the top ten for much of the race before being forced out with technical issues late on having slipped to 12th.

However, the two-time champion remained steadfast in his negative assessment of the car's performance, insisting running on the edge of the top ten is 'no positive' to take away because it is taking his best driving just to get it into the mid-field.

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"Not many [positives]," he remarked. "I think I feel very well prepared. I feel I'm driving at my best in my career, and I'm fighting for one point. So really disappointing.

"Obviously the car is very uncompetitive at the moment and we were in the points all race long, but huge fuel saving that I had to do. It was a big surprise to be P10. I was driving at my maximum, I felt confident but the car is very, very uncompetitive at the moment."

Regardless, Alonso is encouraged by the potential the latest generation F1 cars, which he says are a vast improvement on the 'frugal' machines he has criticised in recent years.

"[The race] was good," he added. "We were able to push, the tyres don't have the degradation that they used to have last year. But obviously we want to fight at the front."

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