The Scuderia Ferrari team had one of its most competitive races of 2014, but a pit stop during the safety car period in Singapore cost Fernando Alonso the chance of a podium finish as the two Red Bull drivers who did not pit leapfrogged him. Kimi Raikkonen finished eighth after finding himself fighting with the Williams drivers for the majority of the race despite having the pace to finish higher.
Alonso made a good start but out-braked himself into the first corner and was forced to concede second place to Sebastian Vettel, but fought back to grab the spot back in the first round of pit stops, but the safety car period, to clear debris from the clash between Sergio Perez and Adrian Sutil, saw him fall behind both Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo who gambled on running their tyres to the end of the race.
“With hindsight, it’s easy to ask oneself how things would have gone if I hadn’t made a mistake at the start and the Safety Car hadn’t come out when it did, but overall I’m pleased with this weekend, because we were competitive and were able to fight with the front runners,” said Alonso. “Sometimes, a Safety Car can help but I think that today on this front, we were a bit unlucky, because at that moment, we were trying to make sure of second place and our strategy was good.
“We didn’t have much of an alternative, because if we had stayed out, the probability was that the stop for the Softs would have cost us more places. Even if in the end, I wasn’t able to get past, the fact we were competitive right to the finish confirms we have made a step forward. Now, in Suzuka, a real circuit, we will have a clearer picture of where we are.”
Team-mate Raikkonen felt he had the speed to finish higher than eighth, but found his race compromised by being stuck behind a Williams for the majority of the event. Firstly he was behind Felipe Massa, and later after the safety car Valtteri Bottas, but overall was not happy with his race.
“Today’s race was really frustrating, because despite the fact we were quick, we weren’t able to finish where we wanted,” said Raikkonen. “My start was good, I moved up a few places and everything was working perfectly. After the first stop, I lost a place to Felipe and from then on, I found myself stuck behind a Williams for the entire race.
“Unfortunately, every time I managed to get close, I lost aero performance on the rear and on top of that, tyre degradation was very high. It’s a real shame I was never able to run my race, even if we already knew that straight-line speed is our opponents’ strong point.
“I’m not happy with eighth place, but on the positive side, we have seen improvements this weekend. I’m sure that if, from now on, we don’t have problems, things will go better.”