Fernando Alonso says Sebastian Vettel had a two-second pace advantage over him during their fight over fifth place and preferred his battle with Jenson Button in the British Grand Prix.

Having been stuck behind Button for a number of laps, Alonso became embroiled in a battle with Vettel in the final stint of the race and held off the Red Bull until four laps from the end. Both drivers were complaining about the other over team radio, but Alonso said his messages were not serious as he felt it was only a matter of time until Vettel passed him due to his pace advantage.

"I was not unhappy," Alonso said. "I think he was reporting every time that I was going [off track] and I had two or three warnings from race direction and he was doing the same behind me. I was looking in my mirror and he was a little bit off-track. Especially the lap when he overtook me he was three or four times off track.

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"So I just said on the radio, but if it was not that lap then it would have been the following lap. We had a two-second deficit in pace, so if we did a 13-lap show to keep him behind then it was welcome for the TV and for our sponsors. But after that we knew that we would lose the position. We had an aerodynamic problem with the car and we were thinking of retiring the car because we were stalling the rear wing and they were telling me to be very, very careful in the high-speed corners because it was easy to lose the car.

"We had battery problems that meant we were completely discharged at that part of the race and certainly in the last stint they also told me to save fuel because we were out of target. I was there and I was surprised that he was still behind because they don't have good straight line speed, but it was not anymore a battle. I think I enjoyed the Button one a little bit better. It was eight laps with Jenson when I could not pass, he was defending very well and that was also quite a fun part of the race."

Alonso's race was hampered by a five-second stop/go penalty for being out of position on the grid, and he explained that he had been unable to engage reverse gear in order to rectify his mistake.

"On the grid everyone stopped at the end of the formation lap and then when I tried to see my board I saw number seven of Kimi and then the next one I saw was number 77 which was Bottas. So I completely missed the 14, I didn't know where it was. I tried to engage reverse gear two or three times and it didn't engage. I was waiting, waiting, waiting and then suddenly two lights were on.

"So at that point I had to put it in to first and go and wait for a penalty if it was a penalty. We had some precedents of [Felipe] Massa in Spa a few years ago completely out of position and some of the positions in China last year and nothing happened. But today it happened."

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Ferrari rly need to get their act together. Various issues reported here point to a car that is neither exceedingly reliable nor fast. They have two of the best drivers out there (I'll admit kimi has been a bummer so far) who are being wasted, especially considering the huge budget involved.

.... that with similar equipment Vettel is still the best racer....
... NO FERNANDO VETTEL BEAT YOU FAIR AND SQUARE. Move on and come back fighting...[\blockquote]

Are you on your right mind? Alonso has waaayyy older tires.. It's expected that Vettel would pass him, what's not expected is it would take that long and a dozen of radio whining...

And yes... Alonso came back fighting.. Not once but a lot that made the race worth watching again and again.