Fernando Alonso has hit back to grab vital points for McLaren following a weather-hit qualifying and feels keeping clear of the congested midfield was ‘worth gold’ at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The McLaren driver cut a frustrated figure following the mixed up qualifying in the rain at the Hungaroring, having missed out on Q3 by a small fraction, while most of his annoyances appeared to be aimed at F1’s TV directors having had his ‘personal’ radio messages broadcast during Q2.

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After a strong start to the race, Alonso maintained his position before grabbing eighth place to bounce back into the points after failing to finish at the German Grand Prix last weekend. Alonso says he’s content with more valuable points for McLaren having now taken eight points finishes from 12 races.

“The races are on Sunday, many people get very happy on Saturdays but come Sunday they don’t score points,” Alonso said. “I think we did a good race, particularly the strategy was really good today.

“We managed to extend the first stint by quite a bit and managed to get both cars into the points, in 8th and 9th place, which was really great, so a big thank you to the pit wall. Then of course Stoffel had an issue but at least we managed to score a few points.”

Alonso also feels staying clear of the midfield group being led by Esteban Ocon, who finished 13th, was vital to his strategy when he returned to the action from his pit stop.

“We didn’t really have a fixed strategy when we went into the race,” he said. “We had thought we would stop between laps 20 and 25 but in the end, we went almost all the way to lap 40, because we could see Ocon was holding the group we had been fighting with and every extra lap we managed to get was worth gold.

“We tried to extend the first stint as much as possible and it worked out fine.”

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