Fernando Alonso kept himself firmly in the lead of the World Championship with a typically canny drive in Singapore, bringing his Ferrari home in third to score some more priceless points.
Alonso lost 10 points to winner Sebastian Vettel, who he now leads by 194 points to 165, but he gained ground on fellow title rivals Raikkonen, Hamilton and Webber.
“I think we were not very competitive this weekend,” said Alonso. “So we struggled a little with the pace of the car. Yesterday we managed to put a good lap in Q3, and that was a little bit the best part of the weekend. Because if you start at the rear I think you are having problems all the race, so starting in fifth, it was OK.
“Then the start was so-so. We lost position with Di Resta and then we recovered in first and second corner, and then we fought a little bit with Maldonado. So I think the safety car arrived in the worst moment for us, because we have stopped and changed the tyres five laps before the safety car, so we didn’t have the pitstop for free like the others did. So, it was, I think with all these difficulties, if we put altogether, arriving third in our difficult weekend is for sure a fantastic result in terms of points.”
Alonso agreed that overall he was happy with the outcome.
“Yes, again I think it’s a very positive weekend. Of the four or five contenders, we lost points with one, with the other three we increased our advantage, so obviously, as I said, when we are not quick enough to win more points against three of our opponents, I think it’s positive.”
Regarding the forthcoming races, he said: “I think all this year we’ve been up and down for all the teams and it’s the same for us. For sure, we need to improve the performance we saw here. We struggled all weekend. Positions five and 13 for our cars is not what we were hoping for so we need to be in a better position in Suzuka. Maybe Silverstone is also quite similar to Suzuka and we were quite OK there, so hopefully we can repeat that kind of performance.”