29 July 2012
Alonso positive with increased advantage
Fernando Alonso extends his points lead with fifth in Hungary
Fernando Alonso admitted fifth place in the Hungarian Grand Prix was a positive result after he extended his championship lead at the Hungaroring.
Alonso had admitted after qualifying that he would need the weather to be on his side if he was to challenge towards the front of the field and it proved to be correct as Ferrari struggled to match the pace of its rivals in dry conditions.
In what was very much a case of damage limitation, the Spaniard stayed out of trouble to take the chequered flag in fifth and now he holds a 40 point championship lead after closest rival Mark Webber had to settle for eighth.
"It's a positive result, no doubt about it,” he said. “We knew this would be a complicated weekend because we were not quick enough, but despite everything, we managed to extend our lead over Webber. In terms of the championship it has therefore been a very good weekend.
“To have finished ahead of one Red Bull and right behind the other in these circumstances was very important because, on paper, we should have expected to finish seventh. Hamilton was out of our reach this weekend, but we did not lose much ground to Vettel and these are in my opinion, the strongest of the group that's behind me in the championship. We made the right strategic choices: it's true I lost a bit of time behind Perez and this cost me a place to Raikkonen, but the Finn was probably out of reach this afternoon.”
Yet again however, Alonso was quick to point out that Ferrari has work to do if he is maintain his points lead through the second half of the season.
“We have a lead of forty points, courtesy of a car that has not been the best in this first half of the season,” he said. “Now we must try and make a good leap forward in terms of performance to allow us to keep the lead in the Championship, because in the long term, what we have now will not be enough. If we are where we are, it's because we have always made the most of what we had and because of an excellent reliability record: it's not by chance that you get 23 consecutive points finishes.
“July has been a tough and stressful month, with three races and a lot of work at the factory. Now I want to take a break for a bit and fully recharge the batteries, to show up again in Spa in perfect shape, in the hope that the second part of the season is as positive and productive as the first one. There are five weeks to rest and work, looking to the future, starting with two very demanding races at Spa and Monza."
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