Fernando Alonso says his Alpine's pace in Sunday's French Grand Prix was a "good surprise", as he had a solid run to sixth at the flag.
Despite reservations over Alpine's long run pace before the race, points for Alonso and teammate Esteban Ocon at Paul Ricard saw the French squad move into fourth in the Constructors' Championship, ahead of McLaren, and the Spaniard said he was pleased with his afternoon's work.
"It was a well-executed race from our side," Alonso told media including RacingNews365.com.
"We were very concerned at the beginning of the weekend that our pace was not great, but we ended up just behind the top three teams, like our normal position so far this year.
"We saw on Friday on the long runs as well, we were quite okay.
"We seem that we missed a little bit over one lap performance here this weekend, so we need to fix that.
"Obviously, [at next weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix at] Budapest, it's going to be crucial to have a good Saturday. It was a good surprise today, the car."
Viewed by others:
Alonso keen on retaining Alpine consistency
After retiring from races at Jeddah and Imola, and losing a potential front-row start at Melbourne all through no fault of his own, Alonso expressed hope that his misfortune is behind him in 2022.
He is now eager to maintain a good level of consistency for the rest of the year to keep Alpine ahead of McLaren.
"The bad luck probably was hurting me a lot in terms of points, but in every normal race I'm top six, top seven, so hopefully we can keep this consistency for the second part of the year," said Alonso.
"The McLarens were very fast this weekend, and they're going be fast all season long, so the fight will be until [the final Grand Prix in] Abu Dhabi, I guess, for the Constructors' Championship."
Despite Europe being in the grip of a heatwave, with track temperatures on Sunday hitting 55 degrees Celsius, Alonso dismissed concerns that he had been struggling physically with the heat.
Asked how badly he had been affected by the conditions, Alonso quipped: "Not much, that's probably why I'm P6 and I had my fastest lap on the last lap. The young boys are not very prepared!"
Video: The 10 most bizarre F1 cars of all time
RacingNews365.com looks back at some of the strangest and most unique Formula 1 car designs from over the decades.