Fernando Alonso said he felt "proud" of his charge to P7 during qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix on Saturday after struggling through the final Formula 1 practice session of the weekend earlier in the day.

Alonso finished a lowly 15th for McLaren in FP3 before making a number of changes on his car ahead of qualifying, where he was able to record his best Saturday result of the season by securing P7 on the grid in Monaco.

"You need to have the car specifically set up for this circuit. In FP3 I drove at my maximum and I was P15; in qualifying I was P7," Alonso said.

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"So definitely the car has the biggest impact on the result. I think we were in a much better condition in qualifying in terms of setup and car characteristics.

"I think in qualy, experience is a factor here. If you’re here for the first time, you’re maybe quick in practice and building all the weekend, but then qualifying is a different thing. We are all pushing and in the same conditions. You have to find your gap on your outlap, you have to push in the right time and at the right moment. That experience helped a little bit.

"I’m happy, I’m proud of today’s qualifying, because it has been a difficult weekend. But then in the moment of truth, we put in the performance."

Alonso explained how the team made a number of setup changes between final practice and qualifying following his struggles, giving him the confidence to build his pace through the sessions.

"It’s been a weird weekend, sometimes difficult, FP1 and FP3 especially. The car was not well-balanced," Alonso said.

"We changed a lot of things for qualy. The team did a great job, understanding some of the issues and going around on the setup.

"In qualifying I felt the car was much better and confident into the car, so you build the pace slowly with more laps and more grip."

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