Zhou Guanyu was left ecstatic after clinching a career-best fifth in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The Chinese driver had only qualified 17th at the British Grand Prix in a continuation of Alfa Romeo's struggles this season that has seen the Hinwil-based outfit pick up only nine points between Zhou and teammate Valtteri Bottas.
But the tight and twisting nature of the Hungaroring brought the car alive, with strong pace from both drivers on display throughout practice.
Such was the strength, Zhou topped Q1 with a stunning lap and was able to continue the pace throughout the hour to finish behind only Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and both McLarens.
"Really happy with the qualifying session in general, not just that we did a good lap, I think in every session we were fighting for the top 10," Zhou told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"Really happy with that final lap. There were a few [lap times deleted for] track limits, that just shows how much I was pushing.
"[Hungary] is a higher downforce track, running as much downforce as we can, which works a lot better.
"At Silverstone, most of the corners are flat, which is a weakness for us. The different track layout definitely suits us better than others."
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Zhou has McLaren in his sights
With Bottas lining up seventh, Alfa Romeo enjoyed its best qualifying session of season and puts the team in a great position to add to its points tally.
"If there's a Red Bull or Ferrari behind, I'll not waste my tyres too much [trying to keep them behind], because realistically, they have a stronger race pace," said Zhou when asked about his race chances.
"But if we can fight, then we will definitely fight without losing too much [time].
"The main target is to try to be best of the rest. McLaren seems to be the second-quickest car over these two weekends, so let's see if we can keep up with them."