Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso reckons he got 'more or less the maximum' after finishing fourth in the German Grand Prix.

The Spaniard started down in eighth after the Scuderia opted for different tactics in qualifying and ran both its drivers in Q3 on the harder medium compound tyres.

However the strategy didn't really pay off and Alonso felt the pace in the early stages was what cost them the opportunity to get on the rostrum.

"I think it [fourth place] was more or less the maximum," Alonso told Sky Sports F1 post-race. "Obviously the race was not too bad. We did a good 60 laps overall, but not good enough for the podium.

"The Lotus' were very fast today. The soft tyre surprised us a little bit [and how well it stood up]... The strategy we did yesterday didn't pay off so much [as a result].

"It was good - but we didn't have the pace. Not at the end, we were fast then and could catch them. It was in the early part of the race we didn't have the pace. We lost a podium in the first twenty laps when we were not quick enough."

Despite losing ground to Sebastian Vettel in the title race, however, Alonso insisted there was still much to be happy about and he added that the Scuderia now know what direction to go in with the F138.

"Even if we were hoping to finish on the podium, finishing less than eight seconds off Vettel after starting eighth is an encouraging result," he continued.

"The team is doing its utmost to make the car more competitive and after tackling a few races without being too sure about our updates, today we can claim to have cleared up many of our doubts and to have understood which are the areas we must concentrate on to move the development forward," he concluded after the ninth round in the F1 2013 World Championship.