Fernando Alonso expressed positivity despite missing out on a points finish upon his return to Formula 1 action at the Chinese Grand Prix.
Alonso missed the second round of the year in Bahrain due to injury but was cleared to return in China and started the race in 11th position.
McLaren's two-stop strategy left the Spaniard on the edge of points but he ultimately came home in 12th position.
"We didn’t quite have the pace to record a good result and finish in the points," said Alonso.
"We chose a two-stop strategy and tried to benefit from that, but the early Safety Car didn’t help us, and our race didn’t really work out as planned after that. That’s the way it is, but it’s a shame."
Alonso reckons that McLaren's stint in the midfield will boost its development, having been able to compare its package to its rivals.
"We need to look in detail at the areas in which we need to improve – we ran among a lot of different cars, so we should have some useful reference points from which to gauge our respective strengths and weaknesses," he explained.
"On a positive note, the race was the first proper long run I’ve completed in this year’s car – I didn’t ever finish a 50-lap stint during testing, and I retired early in Melbourne because of the accident."