For Fernando Alonso, seventh place at the Singapore Grand Prix resembled a "small win" but McLaren fans shouldn't get too excited, he warns.
It has been a pretty miserable year for the double world champion in Formula 1 as a poor car has seen him battling further down the grid as the year has progressed, despite his own best efforts.
On the streets of Marina Bay, however, those flaws were largely hidden and the Spaniard could make enough of a difference to sit in the top 10 pretty much all weekend.
Then, on Sunday, as several of the usual top midfield runners got stuck behind a Williams, it paved the way for Alonso to produce a near-perfect race and cross the finish line as the 'best of the rest' behind the top three teams.
“Really happy with seventh,” the 37-year-old was quoted by PlanetF1.
“Normally something happens in front of us, but today all top six cars finished the race so seventh is a small win for us.
“We executed the race to perfection today. Good strategy, good tyre selection and good points.
"We lapped [Kevin] Magnussen today. At Monza and Spa with many straights, they pretty much lapped us, so I think it's the circuit that's abnormal and I'm afraid we'll have difficulties again in the upcoming races."
In what was a steady race in terms of pace, Alonso even posted the fastest lap early on only to have it later beaten the leaders before Magnussen set the new lap record in his Haas.
Though that moment made him "happy", Fernando admits it not the start of any big turnaround in fortunes heading into what could be the last six F1 races of his career.
“I think it’s just the track characteristics that are better for our package,” he said, "the car is exactly the same as previous.”
With the possibility for wet races in Brazil and Japan and the high altitude of Mexico to come, however, Alonso doesn't think Singapore was his last chance for a strong result.
“I think it’s going to be up-and-down for the remaining races,” he claimed. “Some of the races we may be competitive, some others maybe not so much.
“The target will be to keep scoring points on Sundays and help the team in the Constructors’ Championship.”News Now - Sport News