|© AP Photo/Antonio Calanni
Fernando Alonso was the rightful star of the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday after he scripted a recovery from tenth place to finish in the spotlight on the podium in front of Ferrari’s home fans.
The Spaniard came away from the race at Monza extending his championship lead despite a weekend dogged by reliability issues and a troublesome qualifying session.
Convinced that he had the one of the quickest cars in Italy and ruing what could have been a pole position, the two-time world champion however focussed on what he described as a perfect Sunday.
“Obviously the win was out of reach after the problem in qualifying,” Alonso said. “Starting tenth is not easy to think about victory, so if you cannot win, podium is next target.
“In all the simulations and all the predictions we had, it was never a podium finish, so basically it’s much better than expected,” he pointed out. “And yeah, the race went like a movie for us, like a dream.”
The retirements of Jenson Button and the two Red Bull drivers meant Alonso widened the gap to his rivals to 37 points, making it good enough for a box office hit for the Ferrari driver.
“This Sunday was perfect for the championship, almost like a film with a happy ending: another podium finish, three of my closest rivals with no points and an increased lead over my closest pursuer,” Alonso summed up.