Fernando Alonso was cleary thrilled to have finished second in his home Grand Prix, at Circuit de Catalunya on Sunday. After a tough race in Bahrain, in which the Spaniard finished 7th and a minute down on race winner Sebastian Vettel, second feels like winning, says Alonso on the team website.
“This second place feels like a victory. Having finished the race in Sakhir almost a minute off the winner, today we overtook one of the two Red Bulls and we fought right to the very end for the win. On top of that, we have made up a lot of points on the Red Bull and the McLaren drivers, which makes the outcome of this weekend even more positive.
Fernando Alonso made a great start, taking the lead from pole sitter Pastor Maldonado and held off the Venezuelan driver until halfway through the race.
“At the end of the second stint of the race came the key moment: maybe Maldonado pitted a bit early and we stayed out on track, but we lost time behind a backmarker for a whole lap, partly because there was a yellow flag on the last part of the main straight. Then, with seven laps to go, I suddenly lost grip at the rear: I asked the team if something was broken because the handling of the car changed from one moment to the next, for no apparent reason. However, in the final stages, the Williams was still very quick and, right at the end, we were also lucky to hang onto second place as Kimi was coming back at me.
“This championship is very hard to interpret with all the different winners and the performance of the top teams going up and down from race to race. We definitely did not do the best job when it came to designing the car – there is still much to do – but we can be proud of how we got the most out of our potential, probably over and above the limits of the car. After two Grands Prix – China and Bahrain – where we suffered a lot, to be back for the podium is very positive and gives us confidence for the rest of the Championship. We must continue to bring updates all the time for the car, because it is all very close and the slightest thing can make the difference.”
Alonso is now tied with Vettel for the lead in the drivers championship, with 8 points down to Lewis Hamilton. In the constructor´s championship, it´s still Red Bull leading with 106 points, ahead of McLaren with 98, Lotus 84 and Ferrari are in 4th with 63 points.