Two-time F1 world champion Fernando Alonso has blamed backmarkers for failing to win the Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve today.
Alonso eventually finished third in his Ferrari F10, losing out to McLaren man Jenson Button in the closing stages when he got held up behind the Hispania of F1 2010 rookie, Karun Chandhok.
Despite missing out on the victory though, the Spaniard was still delighted to be back on the podium. Indeed after being uncompetitive in Turkey two weeks ago, Alonso was greatly encouraged by the pace of his car and he is now hoping he will be able to battle at the front again in Valencia, the next stop on the schedule and of course his second race on home turf.
"It's great to be back on the podium and especially to be able to fight for the top places once again. Today, we could have won but we did not manage it because, on a few occasions, we paid a heavy price for the traffic. These things can happen to anyone in a race and this time it was our turn," Alonso stated.
"If we want to reach our objective, we must try and always finish on the podium and this result is a great motivation for a team that today did a great job, in terms of strategy and handling the pit stops.
"It was difficult to manage the tyres: the softs at the start suffered from degradation very quickly, but even the hard ones had a different problem with graining. Luckily, our car is reasonably kind to the tyres
"From what we had seen in Turkey, we had not really expected to have this level of performance. Now we have a lot of updates coming for the next Grand Prix in Valencia: I really hope they will allow us to be competitive on all types of track. I have never finished on the podium in my second home race, after the one in Barcelona and I would love to do that in two weeks time."
Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali and chief track engineer, Chris Dyer meanwhile both felt, like Alonso, that they could have won.
"On the one hand, there is satisfaction with the performance level we showed today," Dyer noted, "but on the other there is the disappointment with a result that did not live up to our expectations. We had everything in place to win: the speed of the car, the best strategic choice in terms of tyres, the quality of the work of the team at the pit stops. Unfortunately, a handful of unfavourable moments cost us the victory."
Domenicali echoed those thoughts: "This result is very regrettable as it does not match up to the potential we had shown this weekend. Fernando, who drove a great race, could have won, but a few incidents did not work in his favour: these things can happen in racing, but that does not make it any less disappointing.
"The fact we came here with a car virtually identical to the one we had in Turkey though where we were definitely not competitive, is cause for thought: it only takes a few elements - circuit characteristics, tyres – to change the picture. Now we must push as hard as possible on the development of the F10: in Valencia in a fortnight's time, we will have some significant updates, but then we must continue to improve the car to be in the fight right to the end. The Drivers' championship is very open and if the Constructors' one looks a bit trickier, the situation can change really quickly."