- European Grand Prix
Alonso pleased with 'maximum' result
Fernando Alonso said Ferrari had achieved its maximum result possible by finishing second in the European Grand Prix.
Alonso started fourth but managed to jump Lewis Hamilton at the start and was engaged in a race-long battle with Mark Webber for second place, keeping Sebastian Vettel honest for a number of laps at the front. Vettel eventually eased away to win by over 10 seconds, but Alonso said that finishing ahead of Webber at the end of the most interesting battle of the race was the best Ferrari could have hoped for.
"I think it was an interesting race for the fans and for the people on TV to see the fight with Webber all the race through," Alonso said. "At the beginning of the race I was behind him, trying to be not too far, trying to have the benefit in the pit stop and have the opportunity to overtake him.
"The opportunity came later on in the middle of the race but on the track and not on the pits so I overtook him under braking for turn 12. On the (second) pit [Red Bull] did a good job again and overtook us, and then in the last pit stop I think the team did a very good strategy keeping the car out on the soft tyre for a couple of laps longer than the Red Bull and the car performed really well and we overtook him finally on the stops.
"So quite a bit of changing positions between Mark and me, and at the end I think the second place is the maximum we can have from this race so being here between the Red Bull cars I think is a great achievement from the team."
Alonso also said that Ferrari's recent performances had given him encouragement for the rest of the season, but that more work was needed to close the gap to Red Bull.
"Monaco was a very good performance all weekend, we finished second, Canada was a very good performance - we didn't score any points there - and here again a very good weekend in terms of performance Felipe and me, and both cars in the top five is a great team result. So definitely moving in the right direction, we need to keep working on being closer to these guys in the next one hopefully."