June 26, 2011 by staff
Valencia Spain, Fernando Alonso called his second in the European Grand Prix on Sunday a “great achievement” of Ferrari – and the forecasts are on the way back as a major force. Alonso, who qualified fourth, moved up to third place in the home and spent the last 56 laps fighting Red Bull driver Mark Webber in the second.
The two drivers swapped positions three times before the Spanish finally ended the race 11 seconds behind race winner Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull also.
“It was an interesting race for the fans and the people on television,” said Alonso, “to see the fight with Webber whole race through.
“At the beginning of the race behind him, trying not to be too far away and have a benefit in the pit stop and a chance to overtake.
“We had a chance in the middle of the race when he beat the curve 12. They made a good stop and beat us and then the final stop on the team did a good strategy and hit him. A little change of positions between Mark and me. ”
Alonso said he had never expected to win, but stressed that Sunday’s result was further proof that the Italian team has recovered from his disappointing start to the season.
“Second place is the most you can have these days, so being here among the cars of Red Bull is a great achievement.
“Monaco was a good performance to finish second, Canada, a good performance, but did not score and the second here is a great result for the team.”
The 29-year-old suggested that if his Ferrari team continue to improve as they have in recent races, will not be long before they can keep pace with the high-flying Red Bulls.
“We’re moving in the right direction and closer to them in the coming races.”
“I think we all know our tifosi at Ferrari’s waiting for us to win,” he said. “Right now we are not in that position. We are much closer. In the first races, which were 1.5 seconds behind, now is six or seven tenths, so we have reduced by half. No going to stop working until you reach the car’s performance. ”
His Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa finished fifth behind Lewis Hamilton after a second slow pit stop took him out of the race for fourth place.
The Brazilian 30-year-old said he was disappointed because I thought I had the pace to finish ahead of McLaren.
“It was a good career spent in constant struggle against other drivers,” he said.
“It was a pity the problem in my second pit stop, when I lost four or five seconds it took me a fighting chance against Hamilton for fourth place.
“I think what we’ve seen in terms of performance, today we have our two cars in front of McLaren.”
Massa added: “Now we come to the weekend at Silverstone Let’s see if we will manage to confirm the progress we’ve seen over the last three races..”
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