• Spanish Grand Prix

Second 'feels fantastic at home' - Alonso

ESPNF1 Staff
May 13, 2012 « Raikkonen: 'The car feels strong' | Front wing damage hampers Grosjean »
Fernando Alonso moves level on points with Sebastian Vettel after finishing in second place in Barcelona © Press Association

Fernando Alonso described his second place in the Spanish Grand Prix as "fantastic" as he moved joint top of the drivers' championship.

Having qualified second, Alonso led in to turn one to the delight of the Spanish crowd but slipped behind Pastor Maldonado after the second round of pit stops. Although he closed the gap he was unable to regain the lead and eventually slipped back in the closing laps towards the fast-catching Kimi Raikkonen. Alonso admitted that Ferrari had been outsmarted by Williams strategically for track position but he felt his pace at the end of the race was a result of a problem other than tyre degradation.

"It was a fantastic start again, so the team developed the clutch quite nicely again and also the procedure to do with the start," Alonso said. "It was close on the straight until turn one with Pastor but then we had the better side - the inside - so we took the momentum there and we led the race for the first part.

"Then Williams anticipated the stop to get in front and at the end it was close because we had newer tyres than Pastor and we tried a couple of times but it was not possible out of the last corner. Then the very last laps I felt the car was strange, we lost a lot of grip, maybe it's something like we lost some aerodynamic part or something because we were very slow and we were close to Kimi to fight for third position."

Alonso admitted that he was fortunate to hold on for second place, but was delighted with the result in front of his home fans.

"We were lucky at the end; this second place feels fantastic at home. Thanks to the people who came here and thanks to the people at home, definitely a step forward in terms of championship possibilities."