Alonso’s mesmerizing drive from the back

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Malaysia, Sepang International Circuitmy

Fernando Alonso was more than delighted after the Malaysian GP with his point-scoring position. The Spaniard started the scorching and demanding race at Sepang from the last position after a series of engine components’ changes.

Clouds have been gathering over Fernando Alonso for some time as penalties for engine components changes have been looming. McLaren-Honda decided for multiple changes for the Malaysian GP as it intended to avoid penalties on home soil in the Japanese GP.

As Honda built a pool of engines over the weekend to get the two-time world champion through the 2016 campaign, Alonso started today’s race from the very back of the grid.

Despite to the hopeless situation, Alonso fought his way up into the point-scoring positions by capitalizing on the misfortunes of Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg, his allocation of fresh sets of tyres and McLaren-Honda’s good race pace.

“It was definitely a very exiting race for us today, with some great battles," started the Oviedo-born driver.

“Having started from the very back, we recovered some good places at the start – and were lucky not to get caught up in the first-corner accident. I was actually surprised by my position, because I’d already got into the points after just a bunch of laps."

Alonso had some intense discussions with his race engineer over the right strategy. On one side, all three compounds showed good durability over the race, but they also did not want to leave the fresh sets of tyres unused.

“At that point, we had some debate over the radio about the strategy – about whether to be aggressive or more conservative. Eventually, we decided to attack and use all the new sets of Option tyres we had left over from qualifying. The final Virtual Safety Car certainly played in our favour, because it allowed us to use the last new set.

“After this weekend’s penalties, we needed some luck – and we got that today!” cheered Alonso.