AUSTIN, November 16th, 2013 (AFP) - Fernando Alonso overcame headaches and back pain on his way to claiming sixth place on the grid for Ferrari at this weekend's United States Grand Prix.
He raised his performance after a struggle in difficult blustery conditions while team-mate Felipe Massa ended up 15th.
"I had a little bit of pain yesterday and this morning when I woke up, but when you are in the car you forget it," said the two-time world champion.
"Starting sixth we will have to survive the start and the first corner and then I think we can fight.
"I've had more impossible podiums than this in the past, but I don't think it's fair to think of the podium because we are starting sixth."
Alonso added that he had suffered from severe headaches and back pain following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but says they will not affect his chances in this weekend's race.
Alonso was taken to hospital for scans after the race at Yas Marina two weeks ago, in which he tripped a 25g-force alarm in his Ferrari after clattering over kerbs.
"My back is not a problem," he said after qualifying.
"After Abu Dhabi I was fine for three or four hours after the race, but when I did the medical check they found some lack of sensitivity in my left arm and leg and they were a little bit worried.
"I had a lot of headaches after, because a nerve was compressed and there was not enough blood pressure in my head. The nights were very difficult but slowly the inflammation came down."