Fernando Alonso put the disappointment of his early retirement in Malaysia behind him with a superb victory in China.
Alonso didn’t put a foot wrong, keeping his tires alive better than most of his rivals and finding consistent pace.
“Definitely it was nearly a perfect Sunday for us, with not any problem in the race,” said Alonso. “The start was clean, it was good. We managed to overtake Kimi Raikkonen. And then in the first stint we managed to pass Lewis Hamilton as well. The car felt a little bit better on the degradation side, let’s say. And then in the rest of the race, obviously you need to take care of the tires a little bit, you need to manage the gap with the guys behind.”
Alonso admitted that even he struggled to comprehend what was a complicated race.
“It was not so easy to understand the race sometimes. We were overtaking the McLarens, Nico Hulkenberg, Sebastian Vettel, so it was a little bit of a mix. So it was not an easy race, and there were some moments of action let’s say and the risk is there when you have to do an overtaking maneuver and you have to manage that as well. The team did a perfect job with the set-up of the car for qualy and the race, perfect pit stop times and pit stops executed let’s say.
“At the end of the race the victory is a good reward for the team, well deserved after the disappointment in Malaysia and you know, the car felt good. The two races we finished, one was second and the victory today, so definitely it’s a positive start to this championship. We need to keep going like that, in this direction, with good weekends, with not any extra risk and hopefully in Bahrain we can score some good points again.”
Alonso said it was too early to talk about championship rivals
“We need to wait until maybe after the summer break or something like that to clearly see the real contenders. Hopefully we are in that group after the summer. Hopefully Felipe Massa can be in that group as well, that will mean that the car is going well, and I think at the moment Lotus, Red Bull and Mercedes are in the same position as us, let’s say. I don’t see anyone has a clear advantage.”