Fernando Alonso enjoyed the fight through the field in F1 Spanish GP after low-key qualifying as Esteban Ocon adds more to his fine form.

It was a bad qualifying for Alpine’s Alonso at his home event where he wanted to do well, was a big disappointment for the double World Champion. He was due to start 17th on the grid and with nothing to lose, he had an engine change, meaning he started last.

With a nothing to lose attitude, he made a storming start and was 14th by the end of the opening lap. A consistent performance throughout saw him net ninth eventually from 20th as he added two points doubling his tally. He has been fast all-season but desperately unlucky since Bahrain, so a points finish came as a relief for him and the team.

“I’m very happy obviously, finishing in the points is always a target every weekend,” said Alonso to media. “And for us after the bad qualifying and the decision to change the engine overnight, in a way was like sacrificing this weekend, knowing that it was very difficult to get points. So now that we got this P9, it feels like a victory nearly”.

“And it feels good. Hopefully, we’re going to start from here. You know, maybe five, eight, 10 consecutive races in the points, which is what we need,” summed up Alonso. In fairness, 17th or 20th, the only way was forward for him and from the word go, all he did was “foot to the floor”.

“It could only go better from the start? Yes,” he said. “So I don’t know, I did enjoy it for sure. But I think we have again another weekend where we finish the race, feeling that we could have two or three positions better, that what we achieved, if qualifying was good, or if the start was good, or the pit-stops are good”.

“There is always something that is in your head. So looking forward to a weekend where we maximise everything,” summed up Alonso. Even though the car has the straight line speed, they have been unlucky with qualifying on the whole. He was on target for a good finish in Melbourne until fate intervened, if he can nip qualifying in the bud, and a touch more luck, he could well be at the sharp end more often.

For team-mate Ocon it was a good day too as he continued his form with a seventh place and six points with a solid performance – his fifth points score in six Grands Prix. If anything, a mark of consistency from the Frenchman who was pleased with his performance afterwards.

“It’s been an awesome race, very pleased,” said Ocon to media. “I think there was nothing we could have done better. Valtteri was too fast in front, we beat both McLarens, had a mega start, mega first stint, good overtakes, Fernando is in the points as well from last so awesome. Couldn’t be more happy with this one, it has a special flavour.”

Significantly, it was also Alpine’s first double points finish since Bahrain, five Grands Prix which in some respects feels like a long time ago now. “It is very important for sure, it is something that we are lacking a bit since a couple of races, so it is good for our championship, we need to figure out a little bit our qualifying, get that better for Monaco but as I said very pleased with this one,” summed up Ocon.

If Alpine can sort out their qualifying, they could certainly take the fight to Alfa Romeo who are five points ahead of them. Monaco is a circuit where qualifying is of paramount importance. Alpine could not pick a better venue to get qualifying right in a few days time and dream big perhaps. They have the speed and consistency and a little bit of luck is what they need right now.

Here’s how F1 Spanish GP panned out