Alonso: Australian GP "probably the best race of my life"

McLaren-Honda's Fernando Alonso, who was forced to drop out late on, said the prospect of a 10th-placed finish had been a "pretty big surprise".
Nadal-Anderson: US Open Final

Alonso: Australian GP "probably the best race of my life"

Fernando Alonso has said Sunday's Australian Grand Prix was arguably his best ever performance until he was forced to retire in the closing stages.

Having qualified in 13th, the McLaren-Honda driver was in 10th place and in line for a surprise point in the opening race of the 2017 season.

But Alonso, who finally started from 12th after Daniel Ricciardo was given a grid penalty, was forced out when his suspension failed with seven laps left.

"It was probably the best race of my life until that moment," said the Spaniard.

Alonso during the Australia GP at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne.

Alonso: "Few times I've had such an uncompetitive car"

"Few times I've had such an uncompetitive car, without any winter preparation, having to save fuel in a brutal way - I think we had to lift about a second per lap.

"And even so we were in the points. It was a pretty big surprise what we were doing, but in the end we couldn't complete it.

"But it was probably one of the best races I've had," the 35-year-old concluded.

Vettel wins opening GP of 2017 season

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel beat Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas to triumph in Melbourne and top the initial championship standings.