Fernando Alonso says today’s German Grand Prix was his best race of the 2014 Formula 1 season so far.
The Spaniard finished in fifth place, eight seconds behind Sebastian Vettel and just one tenth clear of Daniel Ricciardo after a close battle in the final laps.
“It was okay; obviously we had the benefit of the start to pass two cars,” he said after the race. “[Kevin] Magnussen and Felipe [Massa] had the incident there. We more or less had the pace to open the gap to the Force Indias and to follow the first three cars.
“We planned to do two stops at the beginning but in the middle of the race I was asking how the tyres were for everyone else, because I really felt like we would struggle if we went for two so we switched to three.
“We probably surprised Red Bull a little bit at that time. We overtook them in the pits and then at the end we didn’t obviously have the pace to fight with Sebastian [Vettel], but we had the pace to fight with Daniel [Ricciardo].
“I had very fresh tyres so the battle was on my side, because I had the car advantage. It took a couple of laps but I was also saving a bit of fuel behind him.”
He added: “I think fifth place was the maximum today. I am very pleased and very happy. Austria was probably the best race so far in the season for me, but now it is probably this one as it was quite complex.
“To manage the start, the fuel, the tyres, the change of strategy and the battles, it was a very complex race and was very difficult to execute. I am happy.”
When asked if he felt the cooler conditions helped Ferrari, he replied: “Yeah, I think it did help to be honest. I felt more competitive than I did yesterday, being fifth and fighting with the two Red Bulls during the race was something that yesterday was difficult to imagine with the pace we saw in qualifying.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic