McLaren-Honda duo Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button have finally pipped reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne in the Drivers Championship table after scoring their first points at the Russian Grand Prix.
Alonso finished the GP at the Sochi Autodrom in 6th place, his best ever result in the last 13 races, while teammate Button placed 10th.
Despite being aided by the first lap chaos that ensued, the Spaniard claimed that although they were lucky they were able to take advantage of the carnage, their result was based on merit.
“I feel happy, we deserve the points finally after some unlucky situations,” the 34-year-old explained.
“The pace was very good. We were lucky at the start and recovered some places after the accidents but then the car performed quite well and we did not have any threat from behind.
“We saw last year that when we made good starts we could not retain the position so today was different because we had the pace.
“I think we did the fifth fastest lap of the race so sixth is the position we deserve and I’m happy with the way things are going.”
Further down the grid in 10th position, Button was delighted that their Honda-powered McLaren was able to secure points with both their cars but did add that it wasn’t the easiest of races.
“To get both cars home in the points and at a track which we didn’t feel would really suit our package is a fantastic result for the whole team,” the Brit revealed.
“As the pack dived into Turn Two, I had to back off because it was mayhem. The bollard at Turn Two is the problem at the start because people are trying to fight through Turns Two and Three. I think that needs some looking at.
“From there, I was disadvantaged, but the pace was in the car. After that, it was just a case of fighting my way back – which I really enjoyed. It’s difficult to overtake around here, but I was able to make a few moves and enjoy myself.
“I think the next race in Barcelona will be reasonably difficult for us, but there’s no reason not to look forward to targeting another points haul in Monaco.”
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