As Alonso started to struggle on his grained medium tyres, he was overtaken by both McLarens and Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel.

With the Spaniard struggling and teammate Esteban Ocon just behind, Alpine ordered Alonso to move over to allow Ocon to have clean air, having started on the more durable hard tyres.

As a response to Alpine’s team order, Alonso replied: “Basically, I would prefer to stop. If you want, I do it in Turn 1, but I will lose two or three seconds. Maybe it’s better to stop”.

With Lance Stroll just behind Ocon, Alonso didn’t want to lose unnecessary time in his battle with the Aston Martins.

Explaining the team order discussion, he said: “Obviously we talked about this that it could be a possibility in the race because we started on different tyres, so in a moment of the race we could meet. But we were stopping either on that lap or on the next lap, so while Esteban was fighting with the Aston Martin maybe it wasn’t the best moment.

“I stopped in the following lap and I think it was the best decision to give him free air, ideally without Esteban behind I could have stopped a few laps later but obviously we didn’t want to hold him up.”

After struggling on the mediums, Alonso flourished on the hards as he recovered to finish eighth having overtaken both Ferraris and keeping the two Aston Martins at bay in the closing laps.

“It was a good Sunday,” Alonso added. “Good points for the team, another four points in the pocket, starting ninth and finishing eighth I think is a good execution of the race. Finishing in front of both Ferraris and Aston Martin I think was a good race in terms of points and results so I’m happy with that.

“In Baku, we were in Q3 and finished P6, in Paul Ricard we were in Q3, finished P8, so I think we are getting better and better and I’m happy.”