Fernando Alonso was delighted after taking the runners-up spot in the F1 2011 Monaco Grand Prix today and after being lapped by the front runners in Spain just seven days ago, added it was a welcome result.
Alonso looked strong all weekend and while he was keen to emphasise that the Scuderia still has a lot of work to do to close the gap to Red Bull, he was nonetheless encouraged after his strong performance around the streets of the Principality.
“This is my best result of the year and I think it is very important, especially for the team. A podium was needed, we needed to be fighting to the end for the win,” Alonso said.
“Sure, this is not a typical circuit and we should not draw conclusions from a race that always produces its own story. We must close down the distance that separates us from the best: in Canada, we will have some updates on the car and we hope they will prove useful.
“I got a good start: if there had been a bit more room, maybe I could have done the same as in Spain. Then I tried to look after the tyres, before attacking Vettel at the very end, but then came the red flag and that meant it was over, because on new tyres, he was impossible to beat.
“Unfortunately, these sort of things can always happen here and they are part of the character of this Grand Prix.
“We must be pleased with this result though and look to Montreal and Valencia, two races where we went well last year, with confidence. The gap in the championship is very big, but there is still a long way to go.”
Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali added: “Going into this weekend, if we'd been told that we would finish second, eleven tenths off the winner, I would have signed up for it on the spot, but now there's no denying there is a slight feeling of regret.
“Fernando was fantastic all weekend long and today he fought for the win, right down to the final metre. The race had a deserving winner, but there's no doubt the red flag towards the end deprived our driver of the opportunity to attack in the final laps, making the most of having tyres with slightly less degradation. At the restart, with everyone on new tyres, there was not much more we could do.
“It is only a week on from when we were lapped at the Catalunya Circuit and we have seen how quickly things can change, depending on the track characteristics and the type of tyre we are using.
“Clearly, the situation in both championships is getting ever more difficult, but we are not giving up: we are coming up to two races where, on paper, we should be competitive and then, before the summer break, we will see where we stand,” Domenicali concluded.