Fernando Alonso praised his Ferrari team for a tactical call that helped him to second place in the Australian Grand Prix.
Alonso was running fourth when race engineer Andrea Stella called him in for an early second pit stop on lap 19 of the 58-lap race.
After returning to the track on fresh tires, Alonso pumped in a quick lap which allowed him to jump ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Felipe Massa, and set him up to pass Adrian Sutil on the track.
“It was a very good decision,” said Alonso after the race.
“There is always the flexibility to anticipate the stop, delay the stop,” he added. “How the race goes is the tire degradation that you are facing through that particular race or the traffic you are facing through that race. In my case we felt we were a lot faster than the cars in front.”
However Alonso admitted that starting his third stint early meant he had to run longer in his final stints which cost him the chance to pass Kimi Raikkonen for the win:
“For that we could not maybe fight with Kimi because it was too early also for three stops, I think lap 21. It was enough to jump three places though, Sebastian, Felipe and Sutil.
“So it was a very good decision at the time but what we didn’t know at the time was the pace of the Lotus. So they did a better job than us and maybe we did a better job than the others in the front.”
Hear more from Alonso in the video above.