Pierre Gasly enjoyed what he labelled Alpine's "strongest weekend" of the season despite heading into the Sao Paulo Grand Prix with a "compromised" car.
The Frenchman bagged seventh place at Interlagos comfortably ahead of Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes having climbed from 15th on the grid after his penalty for impeding in the pit-lane exit in qualifying.
Alpine has struggled at fast circuits this season with the deficiencies in the Renault power unit exposed at tracks like Monza or usually on the long climb and drag up the hill from Turn 12 in Brazil.
To counter this, Gasly explained how the team "compromised" the set-up to ensure as high a top speed as possible, which coupled with a strong strategy choice allowed him to keep pace with Lance Stroll in the fight for 10th in the Drivers' heading into Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi.
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Gasly supportive of Alpine 'compromise'
"It was one of our best races of the year," Gasly told media including RacingNews365 after the team elected to opt for a skinny rear-wing set-up for the race.
"I had two very, very strong starts, I managed to pass cars on both occasions and on the second start, I was able to get up the gearbox of [Carlos] Sainz.
"For pretty much the whole race, I was keeping up with Sainz, the Aston Martins in front and the Mercedes as well and we managed to make the two-stop work with good tyre management.
"I passed George [Russell] and Lewis [Hamilton] on the race-track and in the end, I was lapping like a tenth away from Carlos.
"I'm very happy because we were struggling a lot on this track since we arrived."
"We knew that it was a compromise, we accepted it, and missed Q3 by four-tenths, and that is what we were seeing from the [data].
"But in terms of the [Sprint] race, we didn't make it work, it was hotter and we were struggling in the hotter temperatures.
"We did some good learnings with the tyre management and saved a new set of Softs for the last stint which was definitely the right strategy and it was a very, very strong race."