• Monaco Grand Prix

Alonso monitoring championship picture

ESPN Staff
May 27, 2012 « It could have been P1, says Rosberg | Fourth 'not disastrous', says Vettel »
Fernando Alonso finished ahead of the two drivers closest to him in the championship standings © Press Association
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Fernando Alonso admits he was focusing on beating his nearest championship rivals rather than trying to win the Monaco Grand Prix.

Having started in fifth place, Alonso climbed up to finish third behind Mark Webber and Nico Rosberg, allowing him to take the outright lead from Sebastian Vettel in the drivers' championship. Alonso admitted that beating Vettel and Lewis Hamilton had been his goal in the race, and said that the rivals he needs to beat will change with each grand prix in such an unpredictable season.

"Our target was to obviously to finish in front of Sebastian and in front of Lewis as they were with us in the world championship," Alonso said. "If you go race by race you concentrate on different drivers, and the next one will be Mark because now he's second in the championship. So it will be interesting all through the season with the constant development of the car and the constant surprises that we are having in every race. You never know which one is set for pole and for the race win."

Alonso added that he'd had a fairly straightforward race after an early scare, but praised his team for helping him jump ahead of Hamilton.

"The race went pretty smooth after the start when I had contact with [Romain] Grosjean. So at that point I thought maybe the car was damaged or something but the car was perfectly fine so I kept running and I felt good. I felt competitive, but obviously in Monaco it's difficult with the traffic. We overtook Hamilton at the stop with a perfect time and a perfect pitstop again, so thanks to the team. I think we are in a privileged positions and well done to all of them."