|© AP Photo/Vincent Thian
Ferrari had said prior to the Singapore Grand Prix that the result in the race would determine whether to continue development of the car or to turn all resources to the radically redesigned 2014 vehicle.
Sebastian Vettel was in a class of his own under the Marina Bay lights on Sunday, winning by a massive 32.6 seconds over the Spaniard and boosting his championship lead on the Ferrari driver from 53 points to 60 with six races remaining.
Alonso's second placing will likely be enough to keep Ferrari's mind on this year, but the Spaniard was realistic about his fading title hopes.
"The gap is still increasing every weekend and now it's 60 points," Alonso said. "We need to be honest with ourselves. We need a lot of luck every weekend if we are one second (per lap) off their pace."
The double world champion, however, was in a generous mood after an impressive showing.
The Spaniard got a superb start, going around the outside of several drivers to vault from seventh to third after two corners, and capitalised on the emergence of the safety car by pitting for his final stop, taking on a set of the harder tyres which he drove for the last 36 of 61 laps.
"We knew we didn't have the pace today, we had to invent something," Alonso said. "I had a good start and a different strategy ... it tastes like a victory to us."
Edited AP report