Fernando Alonso has said that finishing second to Sebastian Vettel in today’s Singapore Grand Prix felt “like a victory” given that the Ferrari F138 car had been off the pace all weekend, with the result minimizing the number of points lost to the defending world champion in the title race.
Having qualified seventh, Alonso made a great start to lie P3 before the safety car came out that allowed Daniel Ricciardo’s stricken Toro Rosso to be recovered. The team took the decision to pit and then try and go to the end of the race on the same set of primes, with the strategy working for Alonso despite it being difficult to manage his tires.
“It was not easy obviously,” Alonso said after the race. “We had a strategy when we pitted under the safety car and we were controlling the pace all through the last stint thanks to the gap that we manage to build.”
Under the safety car, Ferrari opted to pit Alonso whilst Mark Webber, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton all chose not to stop, with the trio all missing out on podium positions as a result. The Spaniard explained how the decision was taken in order to try and secure a place in the top three given the car’s lack of pace.
“We were third which was already a good result for us but when we didn’t see Rosberg pitting in under the safety car we decided to pit and to try something different. We were too slow this weekend, we were not in a level that we should be so we try a little bit different things and it paid off at the end with a fantastic second place.
“Today is like a victory.”
Despite finishing in second place in each of the last three races, Alonso has trailed championship rival Vettel every single time thus allowing the German driver to open up a sixty point lead at the top of the the drivers’ championship. With six races remaining in the 2013 season, it is becoming all-the-more likely that Vettel will be celebrating a fourth successive title come the end of the year.