Fernando Alonso was one of the stars of the Hungarian GP, the Spaniard making a set of soft tyres last for the final 32 laps of the race and holding off Lewis Hamilton at the flag.
Along with leaders Rosberg, Bottas and Vettel he lost out by not making it into the pits when the first safety car came out, but he alone managed to recover to the podium.
“It means a lot,” said Alonso. “Obviously we had some tough races recently, and to see one Ferrari again on the podium is the best news. We took the opportunity after a difficult race, with a wet start and then some difficult decisions to make around the safety cars – if we pitted or not. Unfortunately at the first safety car we went a little bit out of position, because the safety car went out and we were in the last corners, so we missed the opportunity to stop.
“We stopped the lap afterwards and we lost a couple of places. We have to attack, we have to overtake a couple of people and just 10 laps to the end we were discussing if we stop and secure the fourth place that we really needed, those points, so just tried to defend the position as much as you can and maybe finish in fourth, so at the end it’s the same result but at least you have the chance to fight for the podium positions.
“So we were in that position 10 laps to the end and at the end we chose the right thing – stay out, defend the position as best we could and secure this second place that, for sure, it tastes like a victory for us at the moment.
“I don’t think that is one of the best in my career. It has been a good and a complex race, let’s say, to execute and perform – because there were some difficulties around the race that make the 70 laps not straight forward. You just need to make decisions during the race and all of them were, together with the team, and I think we did the best we could.”
Alonso admitted that circumstances had helped him.
“This circuit didn’t change much our performance, our position but today we had a little bit of a chaotic race and we took every opportunity we had in front of us. I think cars from behind also had some issues, with Rosberg, with Hamilton yesterday, with the issues in qualifying, we get this position for free. Vettel had a problem in the last corner today, the Force India [crashed]. We had some cars out of the way let’s say and we took benefit from this and we secured some very strong points for the team.”