Alonso was hoping for higher rate of attrition

Fernando Alonso racked in more points for McLaren-Honda after P7 in Singapore and even  admitted having podium hopes early on in the race.

Alonso rocketed to fifth following a brief Safety Car period, and although the Spaniard drifted back as pit stops rotations set in, he continued to target a top five finish before conceding positions to the faster cars of Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel.

“Seventh was the maximum we could achieve today, the best of the rest after the two Mercedes, the two Red Bulls and the two Ferraris,” Alonso said.

“We weren’t perhaps quite the fourth-fastest team here this weekend, so it’s thanks to good strategy and a good start that we were able to bring home this result.

“I chose to go on the outside at the start, and the crash didn’t affect me as I was already up into sixth at that point. Then I braked very late for the first corner and got past Daniil [Kvyat] and Kimi [Raikkonen]. Everything went fine. Sometimes you just need to get lucky.”

As he found himself well up the order in the early stages of the race, Alonso entertained the thought of stepping on to the podium given the race’s usual rate of attrition.

“For a time, I was even hoping for a podium finish. If something had happened ahead of me it could have worked out that way. But in fact it was one of those races in which nothing happened at the front.

“But, overall, we did the best we could today.”

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