Alonso hails Ferrari tactics after second (VIDEO)

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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.

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.