The two-time champion qualified fifth at the Losail International Circuit but could start as high as third with Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas under investigation for allegedly failing to slow down for yellow flags in Q3.

It’s also Alonso’s best qualifying result since his days with Ferrari at the Japanese Grand Prix in 2014.

Alonso expressed his delight over team radio after qualifying: "So enjoyable! I could be here all night long. Thank you for this car."

With Alpine back on form after a couple of difficult rounds, Alonso is keen to make the most of its upturn in form given the close battle with AlphaTauri in the constructors’ championship.

“I think the whole weekend has been OK,” Alonso said. “I have been positive all weekend about the car. It felt very nice in FP1, the car is lovely to drive with the high-speed corners and now with the light cars and the new tyres, it feels fantastic.

“I told the team I could drive all night long if they give me the fuel so I will wait for them tomorrow here to drive. It seems that some circuits are better than others for our package. Istanbul, Sochi, here - there are some similarities on those circuits so we need to study well what we are missing in some other circuits and yeah let’s see.

“Points are given tomorrow. Saturdays are a good thing but we need to maximise this position tomorrow.”

Alonso is wary of Carlos Sainz - who will start the race on mediums, but like Verstappen and Bottas, is under investigation for a yellow flag offence - and Sergio Perez coming through the field from 11th on the grid.

“I think there are also different strategies for Q2 tyre choices,” Alonso explained. “Some people on the medium, some people on the softs. We don’t know how many stops to do tomorrow, it’s a new track for everybody, not enough data.

“A lot of question marks but it’s better to solve these questions from P5 than P15 for sure. I think it’s a long race ahead of us. Carlos, I think is starting on the medium, Perez P11 starts on medium or hard or whatever he wants and he will be a threat.

“There are a couple of things that we need to solve in the race.”