Twelve months ago, Fernando Alonso brashly predicted that he could still win F1 world championship, despite finishing a lowly 14th in the British Grand Prix. After victory in 2011, however, there were no such claims.
True, despite Alonso's non-score a year ago, he was 'only' 47 points off the top of the standings, whereas, this time around, he sits almost twice as far back, as Sebastian Vettel's second place at Silverstone allowed him to cement a 92-point advantage over his Spanish rival. Ferrari, however, appears to have made good on Alonso's belief that it would be more of a factor from round nine, allowing him to be competitive in a race that has not always suited the modern breed of Prancing Horse.
"It is a huge boost for us," the double world champion admitted, "It give us good confidence being quick here in Silverstone as, no doubt, it was a race on the calendar that had one red cross [against it]. We knew that it was not an easy grand prix for us in terms of the high-speed corners, the layout, never being our strongest point in the last two or three years, so we knew that Silverstone, like Barcelona, was difficult for us. Winning here is good motivation for everyone approaching the next few races as they will be circuits that are a little bit better for us."
Despite the obvious satisfaction from winning, Alonso insists that there are no thought of challenging for the championship this time around.
"We will try to enjoy the moment, the win, and work hard," he noted, "We will have the same approach that we had in Valencia, that we had in Canada, and here as well, every weekend. It is a weekend to try for the victory, try to win the race.
"There are no championship thoughts at the moment, with anyone in the team, as we know that the gap is massive at the moment with Sebastian. We just need to enjoy every weekend, try to win every weekend and be aggressive at the start, the pit-stops. There is no time to think about any other thing.
"I've been saying over the last couple of races that, for sure, the team has been improving a lot. There was one part of the championship in which we put new parts on the car and they were not quicker, so the wind tunnel was not telling us the truth. We lost a little bit of ground there in the first couple of races, then it seems, in the last three or four races, every new part on the car is working fine, so they are steps forward for us and very good news, not just for this year, but also for next year's development."
Alonso was quick to acknowledge that he may not have moved to the front of the field had it not been for a problem in the pits for early leader Sebastian Vettel, but refused to accept that he may not have been a thorn in the German's side after setting a series of fastest laps as the race wore on.
"Who knows? You never know," he claimed, "I think it is difficult to have any prediction of what could have happened without Sebastian's problems. For sure, it is more difficult when you need to overtake on the track, and when you are talking about two- or three-tenths difference in pace in favour of them or us. It is not easy to overtake, as we saw with the McLaren, and, for Sebastian, it was the same when he tried to overtake Lewis [Hamilton], so the pit-stop problem for them was a help.