Fernando Alonso has said that fourth was the best result possible for Ferrari in the Japanese Grand Prix. The Spaniard started the race from eighth on the grid but consistently climbed through the field to finish as best of the rest.
He admitted that the car felt good throughout the race and suffered considerably less tyre degradation in comparison to Korea just a week ago.
He said after the race: “Fourth place was the most I could do today, as the three ahead of me were really out of reach and so, given our starting position and how practice went in general, I am happy. It was an action packed race and even if we suffered with traffic, degradation was more normal than in Korea and we were back to having a good pace. Certainly, we need to find something extra if we want to finish on the podium in the next four races.”
Ferrari continues to extend their lead over Mercedes in their battle for second in the constructor’s standings. Alonso also passed a new milestone in Japan to become the driver who has scored the most points in the history of F1. He commented on the achievement, saying: “I am very proud of having become the driver with the most points in the history of this sport, even if for a few years now, with the change to the points system, you get more. Now I want to celebrate this record and think about the next race in India. This one is already in the past.”
Team-mate Felipe Massa recovered from a mid-race drive-through penalty to finish in 10th. He said that the penalty “wiped out” any chance of a good result and said it was a tough day at the office. He said: “That was a really difficult day, with the drive-through wiping out any chance of having a good race or bringing home more points. When I came down pit lane, I didn’t realise I was going too fast. It’s the first time it’s happened to me and it’s a real shame, because in the first stint of the race, I had a good pace.”
He added: “Having taken the penalty, I was stuck in traffic and the cars that had made a third stop towards the end of the race were able to pass me easily on new tyres. I am disappointed, because I’m sure that without that mistake I could have got a good result. In the remaining races, we must continue to fight and I hope we can be competitive starting right away in India.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic