Alonso breathes a big sigh of relief with podium

© Ubaid Parkar, 14 October 2012
© Ferrari

Fernando Alonso isn’t discouraged by losing the lead in the championship to chief rival Sebastian Vettel at the Korean Grand Prix on Sunday.

The Ferrari driver, who qualified fourth, finished on the final step of the podium behind race-winner Vettel and his Red Bull teammate Mark Webber, with the German now leading the standings by six points.

But the Spaniard noted the positives after the end of the 55-lap race hopeful - as he has been the entire season so far - that the Italian team can produce the goods in the upcoming races.

“It was a difficult race and, come the end of the weekend, I am happy with the way things went," Alonso said. "I was starting from the dirty side of the track, we had doubts over tyre life and what would be the race pace of our rivals. With all these concerns, managing to get to the podium meant I could breathe a big sigh of relief.

“It’s true that Red Bull was quickest all weekend, but our aim was to be right behind them and we achieved that,” he pointed out added that the six point lead Vettel had didn’t mean much.

The 25-year-old Red Bull driver has now won three races in a row but that has not raised any concerns in the Italian camp.

“When everything goes smoothly for so long, inevitably sooner or later something has to happen,” reckoned Alonso. “We are right in the fight for the title with a car that has never been the fastest. It seems we are capable of doing something good too.”

Team principal Stefano Domenicali echoed his star driver's views.

"Clearly, at the moment Red Bull might seem unbeatable in everyone’s eyes, but I can remember the same thing being said about McLaren on Sunday afternoon in Singapore: the wheel turns quickly this year," Domenicali said.

Another positive aspect that emerged after the Korean GP was that Ferrari moved up to second in the constructors’ championship after Felipe Massa, who finished fourth, registered his sixth successive points-scoring position.

However, the Brazilian was quicker than his teammate towards the later stages of the race but he ensured that he played the role of second fiddle in the team.

“Towards the end, I closed on Fernando but attacking him was never even up for discussion: I know how important every single point is in the title fight,” Massa said. “The whole team is doing its utmost to help Fernando and I am there for him, just as the team is and as it has been for me when I found myself in the same situation.”

 

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