Fernando Alonso admits he was just lucky to have made it round the first corner of the Spanish Grand Prix when an ambitious bid for the lead denied him a shot at victory in front of his home fans.

Starting alongside Felipe Massa, the duo got an even start, but when Alonso picked up a tow heading into the first corner chicane, he put the huge Barcelona crowd through the motions when he attempted to go around the outside of the Brazilian, prompting a bit of panel-bashing and sending the Spaniard across the gravel trap.

Recovering in fourth, Alonso set about making up the time but was never able to recover the kind pace that saw him challenge for pole position in qualifying.

Although he benefited from the retirement of Kimi Raikkonen to snatch the final spot on the podium, standing just below McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton on the rostrum was not where Alonso had hoped to be at such a significant venue.

Indeed, the double world champion blamed his somewhat lacklustre result on his first corner move, admitting the balance of the car was ruined by his trip off track.

"My chance for victory disappeared after the incident at the first corner. I got off the line OK at the start and was able to get a tow from Felipe and challenge into the first corner as I was already half a car length in front however we touched, and I had to go on the gravel to avoid an accident. We were both lucky to finish the race.

"As a result by the second corner I was fourth. I also sustained a bit of damage to my car which upset the balance for the rest of the race. I lost additional time in the second stint as the tyres were not working as well, but I still think the result would have stayed the same even if we had used the softer tyres."



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