Fernando Alonso conceded that Red Bull and McLaren had better performing cars than his Ferrari in Singapore today, adding that it would have been ‘impossible’ for him to finish on the podium.
The Spaniard eventually finished the race fourth, one place higher than where he qualified. Team-mate Felipe Massa had an early collision with Lewis Hamilton and could only recover to ninth place.
“Unfortunately, today it was impossible to finish on the podium,” said Alonso. “We were not fast enough and, even if we were third for some parts of the race, we knew that sooner or later we would be overtaken.
“Sure, if you nail the start and something unusual happens and you do everything perfectly and then some, the podium might come your way, but at the moment, the reality is that our car is third best in terms of performance. Then, as happened today, if the Safety Car wipes out the few seconds advantage we had put together over Webber and the backmarkers, who were maybe a bit distracted, create unexpected problems, then everything becomes more difficult.
“At the start, on the Supersofts, we had very high degradation, while on the Softs the situation got back to more or less normal compared to Red Bull and McLaren. We fought all weekend long and I'm pleased with the way the team worked, because they always did their very best and we got the most we could have done out of this race.
“We have five difficult races ahead of us, but our motivation does not change: at some point maybe we will be able to attack, while there will be other times when we have to defend, but either way, we will always do our best.”
Massa said that the collision with Hamilton made his race very difficult, and explained their ‘discussion’ in the media area after the race. “There's no point in me hiding the disappointment and anger I feel at the end of a race that could have delivered a very different result,” said the Brazilian. “The damage following contact with Hamilton penalised me a lot because I lost so much time in the early stages when the traffic was still very heavy. After the race, I tried to talk to him to clear the air but he walked away without even answering: so I told him what I thought when we found ourselves in the interview area.
“On top of that, the Safety Car added to my troubles: I had changed tyres a few laps earlier and had fitted the Supersofts which definitely would not have got me to the end of the race, while other drivers were able to make the most of the race being neutralised to make their stop without losing too much time. In the end, first of all, I lost some time behind Barrichello and then I had to let Vettel by, which meant I was a lap down on him and had lost any chance of finishing seventh, given that Sutil and Rosberg in front of me were struggling with their tyres.
“I would really like to have a trouble free race at some point, something that I have not experienced recently, if you look at Monza for example. Today, a top six finish was definitely within reach.”
Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali was disappointed with the performance today in Singapore, and agreed that Massa has been pretty unlucky in recent races.
“The result itself is not a surprise, but the performance definitely was, and in a bad way,” he said. “We were slower than we expected and we must carefully analyse the reasons why things turned out this way. It will be a useful exercise for the coming races and also when looking to the future.
“Fernando did his best, staying in the hunt for a podium finish right to the end and he is still definitely in the running for second place in the Drivers' Championship. Felipe could also have been up there with him, but his race was ruined by the puncture caused by Hamilton: our Brazilian is definitely having an unlucky time of it at the moment and yet again, as in Monza, he had to fight his way back up the order through no fault of his own.
“Now we must roll up our sleeves and maintain our motivation for the remaining races of this season, in which our aim has to remain the same, namely to try and win some races. At the same time, we must learn as much as possible about the behaviour of this car, to apply the lessons to the one that is currently at the design stage.”