Alonso was running in third after overtaking Max Verstappen, Carlos Sainz, Daniel Ricciardo and Sergio Perez in the closing phase of the race.

With the rain coming down, Alonso - like Lando Norris who ultimately out to Lewis Hamilton for the victory - stayed out on dry tyres despite it being ready for intermediates as the rain poured, dropping him to sixth. 

“The car felt very fast,” Alonso said after the race. “A good balance throughout the race. We were keeping up the pace with Checo in the first stint then we switched to the medium tyre and we were able to even overtake Verstappen at one point and pull away from him. 

“Then it starts to drizzle a little bit on dry tyres and we overtook Daniel, Checo and Sainz, and we were P3. I think the podium was possible today on merit. The car was flying and I was very happy. Unfortunately, the rain came five laps to the end. Some people took some risks, some people… other risks. 

“We were unlucky or the podium, let’s say, was very lucky today. In these conditions it’s always a lottery. In normal conditions we were very, very good so I am happy.”

Alonso has now scored points in nine of the previous 10 races, allowing Alpine to extend its gap over AlphaTauri in the race for fifth in the constructors’ championship.

The two-time champion believes he’s scored all of his points “on merit” in 2021.

“Not sad, for sure, we should be on the podium in terms of executing the race and driving,” Alonso added.“We were in front of Verstappen, we were pulling away from him. We were in front of Sainz. 

“Norris did an amazing race and just by luck, he’s not in the podium or his first-ever win in F1. When it rains it’s just a very lucky factor. I am sad because when we are not competitive and we are P11 or P12 it never rains so we never get lucky and today when we are in P3, today it just rains. 

“Not sad but definitely we’re not very lucky. Every point we got this year is on merit, we deserved it. We haven’t had any presents, we’ve not had any gifts today or this year. I am proud of every point that I took this year.”