Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali admitted that the inaugural Indian Grand Prix had been 'bittersweet' after Fernando Alonso clinched a strong podium finish but team-mate Felipe Massa was forced to retire.
Alonso started and finished the race in third place to take his ninth podium of the season and increase his advantage over Mark Webber in the championship standings.
However, team-mate Massa endured a more difficult weekend after another clash on-track with Lewis Hamilton resulted in the Brazilian being handed a drive-through penalty. He would then retire from the race after damaging his suspension on a kerb in what was almost a carbon copy of the incident that put him out of Q3.
“The result of this grand prix could be described as bitter sweet,” Domenicali said. “On the one hand, there is the satisfaction of seeing Fernando on the podium, which given our current situation in this last run of races, represents our most realistic target. Once again, the Spaniard drove a great race, fighting lap after lap to bring home another trophy to add to his collection.
“On the other hand, there's disappointment for what happened to Felipe, who could have got a good finish, given the pace the Brazilian was demonstrating. As regards the incident with Hamilton, as usual Ferrari respects the decision of the Stewards, even if, in this case, we have a different view to theirs.”
Admitting that Alonso didn't have the pace to challenge for victory, Domenicali insisted there were plenty of positives to take away from the Indian weekend as Ferrari works towards 2012.
“It's true we did not have the pace to fight for the win, but I think everything we are doing in these final races will have a great importance when it comes to the 2012 season,” he said. “We are learning a lot and we have to continue like this for the two remaining Grands Prix this year.
“Finally, let me say that seeing a Ferrari on the podium at the inaugural Indian Grand Prix was very pleasing, given what this market could represent in the near future.”