Fernando Alonso has claimed his second podium finish of the season in Hungary today following a sensational display of tire management and defensive driving.
The Spaniard started the race from fifth place on the grid, and led for large parts by virtue of his strategy. However, he was required to make his option tires last for far longer than feasibly possible, and ultimately had to yield to eventual winner Daniel Ricciardo in the final few laps of the race.
Nevertheless, he did manage to hold back Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton following the Briton’s charge from the pit lane to third place behind the Ferrari driver.
“I am extremely satisfied,” Alonso said on the podium after the race. “It has been a tough weekend and season in general, so it is a nice surprise.
“We took a gamble and a risk today, trying to get the victory. We went close but as I said I am extremely proud of the team and the job we did today. Very, very happy.”
Alonso has traditionally run well at the Hungaroring, claiming his maiden grand prix victory at the circuit back in 2003. With the poor pace of the F14 T making life more difficult in 2014, he said how races such as the one we saw today – featuring a rain shower and two safety car periods – are Ferrari’s only hope of securing big points.
“Today we had a combination of things that make the race difficult to execute and understand,” he explained. “We took the opportunities and [used] our experience, we need some crazy races to get some podiums this year and today we took the opportunity.”
With this result, Ferrari has moved back above Williams into third place in the constructors’ championship, as the British team could only bring its cars home in fifth and eighth place. Kimi Raikkonen kept quiet, but did finish the race in sixth place: his best result since re-joining the Italian marque at the beginning of the year.