Fernando Alonso has conceded that Aston Martin finishing fifth in the Constructors' Championship "hurts" but that Formula 1 is "not a charity event."
Aston Martin went into the Abu Dhabi finale 11 points behind McLaren in fourth, but seventh and 10th for Alonso and Lance Stroll would not have been enough to overhaul the Woking squad, even before Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri finished fifth and sixth.
The Silverstone outfit had started the season as closest challengers to Red Bull, with Alonso scooping six podiums in the first eight races, before a mid-season slump as upgrades in Canada and the United States did not work as intended.
A mini-revival followed after the Mexico City Grand Prix, including a three-five result in Brazil as the team rallied, but it was not enough to catch McLaren
Alonso himself finished fourth in the Drivers', his best result since second to Sebastian Vettel in 2013, and labelled the season as a "dream."
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"This is Formula 1, this is not a charity event, we have to have the pressure and deliver," Alonso told media including RacingNews365.
"Fifth in the Constructors' hurts a little bit because I think we were better than that, and we were hoping to be better than that at the beginning of the year.
"In the Drivers', finishing fourth is a little bit unreal, fighting with the guys that we were.
"In fact, if you are fifth in the Constructors', normally you should be ninth and 10th in the Drivers', so it is a dream season for everyone in Aston Martin, including myself.
"It is completely unexpected, completely unreal to be fourth in the championship.
"As I said [earlier in the weekend], 2012 and this season for me are the best in my career and I was in a position that I could never have imagined at the beginning of the year or with the car performance we had."