Fernando Alonso claims the United States Grand Prix was lost for him at the start when he failed to get the jump on team-mate and eventual winner Lewis Hamilton by the first corner.

Lamenting an inability to get close enough to his team-mate over the course of the race thanks to the fabled 'dirty air' that holds back following cars, Alonso insists the best he could do was stay as close to the Brit as he could in the hope of getting a chance at taking the lead.

That duly came on lap 36 when Alonso benefited from a better run through the back markers to pull alongside Hamilton but being beaten to the corner, the move proving the Spaniard's best and only chance to snatch victory.

Still, despite it being a rather heart-stopping moment for the McLaren team, Alonso insists the battle was 'good racing', defying speculation that he had been frustrated to have seen the lead defended so aggressively.

"I didn't win but I finally managed to leave Indianapolis with a trophy. I think the race was decided after the first corner, and I didn't manage to get past. All I could do was to stay as close to Lewis as possible. We were side-by-side on one occasion, but it was all fair and square and it was good racing. I was constantly in his slipstream and was getting all kind of dirt from the brakes on my overalls, the car and the helmet which was why I sometimes went slightly off line to try and get some clean air.

Despite not coming away with the win, Alonso is happy the McLaren continued to hold an advantage over their rivals at Indianapolis, giving him confidence of a similarly comprehensive performance when the championship resumes in Europe.

"The car was working well, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the season. At the end of the day the team can leave Indianapolis having extended the gap to Ferrari in the Constructors' battle and having eight points is better than none. I'm looking forward to going back to Europe and the rest of the season."



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