Fernando Alonso marked his 100th grand prix on Sunday with a podium finish in Turkey and two points clawed back from title rival and McLaren team mate Lewis Hamilton.
Yet the double world champion was not in an overly celebratory mood after a weekend in which he has seen himself increasingly distanced from the Mercedes-powered team he joined from Renault at the start of the year.
While cutting Hamilton's overall lead to five points, the Spaniard was wary of the challenge from a threatening Ferrari who took their second one-two of the season.
"If someone had told me on lap two that I would be on the podium, it would not have been easy to believe and I would be very happy and I would sign anywhere," said Alonso.
"At the end, the final result is the best thing of the weekend for sure.
"But there are some other moments that were not so good, like yesterday in qualifying, today the start, the pace of the Ferraris compared to us in the race; Many things that we need to improve for the next grand prix."
Alonso qualified fourth, with Hamilton second, and was overtaken by both BMW Saubers at the start.
While he regained those positions after the first pitstops, the Spaniard could hope for no more than fourth place until Hamilton suffered a puncture.
"I just took my pace and concentrated on being consistent, not making a mistake and waiting for the miracle which only happened with Hamilton," he said of his race until the Briton's sudden misfortune.
"But third, for sure, is not the best result from the weekend."
Alonso, who was not on speaking terms with Hamilton after the controversial previous race in Hungary in which he was punished for impeding the rookie in qualifying, said the placings made little real difference.
"As for the 100th grand prix. I felt good and I'm feeling good now," he added.
"I won't remember this Grand Prix for the rest of my life but it has been quite good at the end."