• Hungarian GP - Race

Second feels like a win - Alonso

ESPN Staff
July 27, 2014 « Ricciardo feared early retirement | Raikkonen: I deserved better this weekend »
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Despite spending much of the gripping finale leading, Fernando Alonso admits second place at the Hungarian Grand Prix still feels like a victory.

With ten laps to go Alonso and Ferrari decided to try and make the soft tyres last until the end for a shot at victory or at least a spot on the podium, so he set about holding off the charging pair of Lewis Hamilton and Daniel Ricciardo. The latter was on fresher tyres and eventually dispatched Hamilton and then took Alonso's lead, but the Spaniard says a spot on the podium is remarkable given Ferrari's tough season.

"It means a lot, obviously," Alonso said. "We've had some tough races recently and to see a Ferrari again on the podium is the best news. We chose the right thing, to stay out and defend the position the best we could and secure this second place which tastes like a victory for us at the moment."

Alonso thinks pitting with ten laps to go would have been far too conservative a strategy with a podium chance up for grabs.

"Ten laps from the end we were discussing if we should stop to secure fourth place but we really needed those points so you try to defend the position as much as you can and maybe finish in fourth - again it's the same result but at least you've had a chance to fight for the podium position."

It could have been even better for Alonso were he not rounding the final corner when the first safety car came out, meaning he had to wait an entire lap before he came into the pits.

"It was a huge opportunity today in a difficult race, with a wet start and some difficult decisions to make around the safety car. Unfortunately in the first safety car we were a little out of position because we were in the last corner when it went out so we missed the opportunity to stop, we stopped the lap afterwards and lost a couple of places. That meant we had to attack [from then on] and overtake a couple of people."

Alonso is also refusing to get carried away about what the podium means for Ferrari's season.

"This doesn't change our performance much. Today we had an unusual race and we took any opportunity that we had in front of us. I think cars in front of us also had issues, we had Rosberg, we had Hamilton with the engine in qualifying we had a position for free, Vettel [spinning] in the last corner, the Force Indias, we had some cars out of the way let's say and we benefited from it."

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