Pierre Gasly says the need to save fuel towards the end of the Miami Grand Prix cost him two places in the final five laps.
After running as high as fourth in the opening laps, the Frenchman was in a solid sixth place as the race entered its closing stages, but was overtaken by Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton as he managed his fuel levels.
The Frenchman ultimately came home eighth, with teammate Esteban Ocon ninth, and said his need to save fuel left him vulnerable to attacks from behind.
"I had a great start, managed to pass for P4, and tried to keep up the pace with Sainz and Alonso in front of me," Gasly told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"Unfortunately, they were just faster than us today, so I tried to do the best we could.
"In the second stint, I was running in P6 then with 15 laps to go, I needed to do a lot of fuel-saving, which was a little annoying when you know you have a Ferrari and Mercedes behind catching and closing on you.
"I wanted to give everything we could, but at the same time we needed to save fuel, and we saw Charles just catching us slowly lap by lap, and unfortunately, with four laps to go, he managed to pass.
"On one side, I’m a bit gutted to not get that P6.
"On the other, if we fight one Ferrari and one Mercedes so close to the chequered flag, it really shows we made a big step forward this weekend.
"So we’ve got to look at the positives. Double points finish for the team and hopefully we can build up from there and close the gap with the four teams ahead of us."
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Alpine's double points finish in Miami came a day after CEO Laurent Rossi had been publicly critical of the team's error-strewn start to the season, calling it disappointing and amateurish.
In the season-opener in Bahrain, Gasly set the slowest time in qualifying, while teammate Esteban Ocon was hit with three separate penalties before retiring.
During the season's third round in Australia, Gasly and Ocon both failed to finish after tangling with each other at the final restart, but Gasly was at pains to point out that Miami represented a step forward.
"I think we’re all disappointed with the first four races," said Gasly.
"We didn’t manage to capitalise on all the opportunities we had.
"That's why I think today's good to score with both cars.
"We obviously want more, and want to be fighting with these Mercedes and Ferrari guys ahead of us, and I think today we showed we are not too far from that."
Balve Bains is joined by RacingNews365.com Editorial Director Dieter Rencken and Asia Correspondent Michael Butterworth to dissect the key talking points from the Miami Grand Prix.