9 July 2012
Alonso focuses on title after 'bitter' near miss
For Fernando Alonso there was no getting around it: after leading for almost the entire British Grand Prix, coming away with second place was a bitter-sweet result.
Fernando Alonso dominated for almost the entire British Grand Prix on Sunday at Silverstone, but then came undone when required to run the last stint of the race on the soft option tyres that went off rapidly. If left the Ferrari driver with mixed emotions after the race.
"I'm happy with the second place," he insisted, before adding: "When you do almost the entire race in the lead and you are overtaken just a few laps from the finish, it does leave something of a bitter taste in the mouth.
"Obviously ten minutes after the race there is a strange feeling of losing victory. But it's the same 18pts you get if you are third and you overtake the guy in second on the last lap and you are so happy," he said at the post-race press conference at Silverstone on Sunday. "I'm sure in one hour's time I will appreciate it much more."
Not that Alonso was about to argue that Webber hadn't deserved the victory at the end. "At the end in the last stint Mark was much quicker than us, and he deserved the win, so I congratulate him and congratulate the Red Bull team," he said. "When Mark arrived I think he overtook very easy and there was nothing we can do."
And second place in Britain certainly keeps Alonso firmly on track for his 2012 title bid. "I think it was a good Sunday in terms of championship points for us," he agreed. "It's the main target obviously for us. Today I think we lost seven points with Mark but we gained some extra points on the rest of the field.
"I'm more happy than worried," he continued. "If Mark was leading the championship, I would be worried about losing another seven points, but at the moment, the weekend in general has been fantastic for us.
"However, the championship is still very open: Red Bull is very strong, but we definitely cannot rule out McLaren, because they had a really bad weekend here and on top of that, Lotus are always very fast."
He added: "This is an important moment in the season: it's not at this time that you win the championship, but one can start to lose it here and we are pleased to have extended our advantage over the majority of our closest rivals."
Alonso said that he was fully aware that in order to stay ahead in the championship in such a tight season, it was going to take continued hard work across the entire Ferrari team.
"We must continue like this for the next two races, trying to always make it to the podium. Then, we must work a lot on our top speed, especially in view of circuits like Spa and Monza," he said.
"I'm very proud of the Ferrari recovery in the last few weeks and now we are fighting for the victory in the last three or four Grands Prix," Alonso continued. "We arrived at Silverstone, a completely different circuit, we didn't know how the car was performing here ... We didn't know what the weather was doing, and I think the car performed well.
"There is a lot to do, but as we have said several times, we are on the right road."
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