- British GP - Race
Alonso takes no pleasure from Vettel duel
Fernando Alonso says he takes no satisfaction from his thrilling and emotionally-charged battle with Sebastian Vettel at Silverstone as it was for fifth position and not for the victory.
Alonso emerged from his second pit stop just ahead of Vettel and spent the next 14 laps holding the world champion at bay, with the pair coming within inches of each other on more than one occasion between Brooklands and Luffield.
"Yes, but we are sixth," Alonso said when told his exploits made him a candidate for driver of the day. "There's nothing really to enjoy so much or celebrate. We would like to fight with Sebastian for first and second or to win the race, but we were too far [away]. In Austria in a way we were fighting with Williams and we were 18 or 20 seconds behind Mercedes at the end of the race, here we were not in that pace. It is good to battle, it's good for the show, we enjoyed the race, but we need to think how to improve because I think we were more satisfied with Austria than here."
Both Alonso and Vettel were complaining to their teams on the radio about the other exceeding track limits throughout but the Spaniard says his anger came from the heat of battle.
"No, I was not unhappy. Obviously there is a lot of adrenaline at that moment. I think he was reporting every time I was going out, I had two or three warnings from race direction. He was doing the same behind me, I was looking in the mirrors and could see. Especially in the lap he overtook me he did it two or three times, not one but two or three car lengths [gained]."
Alonso also says he had discussed the possibility of retiring to his team due to a number of aerodynamic issues with the car.
"We had an aerodynamic problem and were thinking about retiring the car. They were telling me to be very, very careful through the high-speed corners where it easy to lose the car. Unfortunately we had the battle at the wrong moment of the race probably. I discussed with the team two laps before the battle, when Sebastian went out of the pits, whether to retire the car because we had some aerodynamic problems.
"The rear wing was stalling and it was causing a lot of problems in the car, we had battery problems, then Sebastian arrived and we had battery problems, stall problems and we needed to save fuel in the last part of the race so we said it would be impossible to keep him behind."
During his first pit stop Alonso had to serve a five-second stop/go penalty for starting the race outside of his grid slot, something he admits was down to his own error.
"It was tricky … it was a mess on the formation lap. Everyone stopped and I saw the sign for number 77 for Bottas and the number seven of Kimi, I missed the number 14 so I was not in my right spot. I tried to put my reverse gear but it did not engage, two or three times I tried and suddenly the start lights were on so I put first and I go. It was quite a mess, definitely."