Fernando Alonso says that a podium finish would have been possible it not for the penalty he received after Ferrari left him on his jacks on the grid.
Alonso was handed a five second stop/go penalty as mechanics were still working on his car – owing to a starter motor problem – as the formation lap got underway, a breach of the rules which dictate the grid must be cleared 15 seconds beforehand.
The Spaniard served the time penalty at his opening stop, at which stage he was leading eventual third place finisher Valtteri Bottas, who Alonso feels could have been beatable otherwise.
“At the start we had problems with the electricity of the car, the power of the car,” said Alonso. “The battery at the start was the biggest problem we had because I was in front of Bottas when I stopped, and Bottas finished third. We would have probably been around those positions.
“I felt more or less competitive all through the race,” he added. “We knew that straightline speed was probably our biggest problem and when you have that penalty and you start fighting for lower positions, that lack of speed has a higher price.
“But I felt more or less competitive and more or less happy with the balance of the car.”
Alonso’s Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen enjoyed his best race of the season, running in the final podium spot before he slipped behind Bottas late in the race, dropping to what was still a season best result of fourth.
“The race was clean, with no issues like we had in the past,” said the 2007 champion. “It was probably the first race of the year [without any problems]. That helps. We could do our own race and the result was a bit better.
“Hopefully we start getting more clean weekends. It would make life easier, and probably the results better.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic