Alonso finished on the podium for the first time since the 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix after he beat Red Bull’s Sergio Perez to finish third in Qatar.

Alpine’s one-stop strategy worked beautifully as Perez ran out of laps to catch and overtake the Spaniard.

“Yeah, unbelievable,” he said. “Seven years and finally we got it. We were close a couple of races but not enough. Sochi was the last possibility and yeah today [we did it].”

The two-time F1 champion started the race from third, moving up two spots on the grid due to grid penalties for Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas.

Starting on the softs, Alonso admitted that he thought about leading the grand prix before lights out.

“Honestly, I thought about leading after lap one,” he added. “I thought with the red tyre, I could have a go on Lewis, but I couldn't.

“Then with Checo it was very close at the end. But I’m so happy for the team. Also Esteban P5, so a good Sunday.”

Alonso credited Alpine for its strategy, revealing that it planned to do a one-stop before the race.

“We planned a one-stop from the beginning, but we never knew how bad was the wear and the degradation.

“It is a new race for everybody. But yeah, I think it was quite well executed the race. The pitstop was fantastic. The team was great. The reliability of the car is superb, and you know they deserve it.

“I am enjoying. F---. I was waiting so long for this.”