• Korean Grand Prix

Alonso gave up chase for podium

ESPNF1 Staff
October 16, 2011 « Button laments McLaren's understeer | Flat spot costly for Rosberg »
Fernando Alonso only managed to jump Felipe Massa in the pit stops © Getty Images

Fernando Alonso said that he gave up the chase for the podium positions in the Korean Grand Prix because he was too late joining the battle.

Alonso caught up with Lewis Hamilton, Mark Webber and Jenson Button in the final stint in the fight for second place, and was able to get within a second of Button. However, with a few laps remaining Alonso told Ferrari over the radio "I give up, I give up", and despite finishing the race 3.6s behind Hamilton he said that the message was not a false one.

"I did 20 qualifying laps to catch the group in front," Alonso told the BBC. "When I arrived there I had a little moment close to the wall in the last corner, so I asked the team how many laps left. They said two, and I said 'with two, I cannot do it guys', so we arrived a little bit too late in to the battle."

Despite being stuck behind his team-mate Felipe Massa for the whole first stint, Alonso said it didn't really cost him much time.

"I was not much quicker at that time. I was struggling a lot in the first part of the race with the supersoft; I finished the front right very quickly in lap three or lap four, so I tried to manage the degradation on the tyre and then after the stop I found myself between Petrov and Michael really close to the accident in turn three. And then behind Nico we lost a little bit of time but I was not much quicker at that time of the race, I was only quick in the last stint with the last set of tyres so we will try to see why."

When asked if Ferrari could close up to McLaren and Red Bull in the remainder of the season, Alonso said he didn't see the order changing, and admitted victories were unlikely.

"I don't think so; I think everything will remain more or less the same unfortunately. They are a little bit ahead of us, no doubt, especially on Saturday they seem very strong; we are eight tenths or nine tenths behind them. On Sunday we arrive - as today - all in a group, in two seconds we arrive four cars. So we definitely deliver a better performance on Sundays than Saturdays, so we need to keep working on that and then if we have some podium finishes in the remaining races it will be welcome. If we can by surprise win one race it will be even better."