Fernando Alonso said that he was pleased with his second place at today’s German Grand Prix, despite getting close to scoring a second consecutive grand prix victory.
The Spaniard conceded that eventual victor Lewis Hamilton was faster than him today, but is taking plenty of positives from this race weekend.
“After a second place like this, it's easy to say that it could have been better, but I am pleased nevertheless,” he said. “We must improve in qualifying, because we have a very strong race pace and I don't think there's any doubt about that. Everything went well today: the start, the pit stops and the strategy. We still lack something on Saturdays, because yesterday we were three or four tenths away, but I am confident we can also improve on this front.
“Today, Hamilton was quicker and so well done to him and his team: when I was behind him I was pushing as hard as I could, but I could not get very close. Even though I came out ahead of him at the second pit stop, I had absolutely no grip and he managed to pass me round the outside: immediately he then built up a few seconds lead. Today, we were clearly superior to the Red Bulls in terms of performance and this is important, given where we were at the start of the championship.”
Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa almost finished the race fourth, but lost that position to Sebastian Vettel as they both pitted at the end of the penultimate lap. He blamed the time spent early in the race stuck behind Nico Rosberg for not finishing higher today.
“It was a good race, in which I went head to head with Vettel for many laps,” said the Brazilian. “A shame about the time lost at the start behind Rosberg: the Mercedes is one of the hardest cars to overtake because it is very quick on the straights. The DRS was not a big help here, to such an extent that I passed him and Vettel under braking for Turn 1 where you cannot use the moveable wing.
“Sure, I would have preferred to have stayed ahead of the World Champion right to the end, but at the final pit stop there was a problem with the wheel nut on the left rear which cost me a few seconds: these things happen and recrimination achieves nothing.”
Stefano Domenicali apologised to Massa for losing him fourth place during that final pit stop, but the Ferrari team principal was still happy with the race, and Alonso’s recent run of results.
“A positive team result at the end of a great race, which was very exciting and in which both our drivers delivered a very good performance,” said Domenicali in summary. “The weather was the worst it could be for us and to have been in the fight for the win right to the end of the race is significant. We are working in the right direction and we have to continue like this, while realising we have to raise our performance level still further. I am sorry for Felipe, who lost a place at the very last pit stop: these things happen as we have seen so often this year down the length of the pit lane.
“Now, there are just a few hours to pause for breath before immediately turning our attention to the next round in Budapest, where we would like to confirm all the progress we have seen to date, while remaining well aware that we are up some very strong opposition.
“It's not by chance that Fernando has scored more points in the last three races than any other driver and the team has done best in the last two. It means we are pushing as hard as possible and we believe in what we are doing, without ever giving up in our efforts.”