Fernando Alonso says the Italian Grand Prix was an ‘almost perfect weekend‘. The Spaniard seemed incredibly critical of the team following Qualifying and rumours were rife that the 32-year-old was debating a sabbatical from the sport, but on Sunday seemed like a new man, en route to finishing second at the team’s home race.
“Stepping onto the Monza podium is always a special feeling, as it’s the only one where you can feel all the love that the fans have for the team and it’s the best prize at the end of what was an almost perfect weekend. ‘Almost’ because our championship rivals won and we send them our congratulations.
“We went well on both Friday and Saturday, getting both cars in the top five, but Red Bull was able to do better.
“When Vettel pitted, we were still doing green sector times and so we opted to lengthen the stint as much as possible, at least while Webber was not becoming a threat. That way, we could have tried to get Vettel on Hard tyres that were fresher by a few laps.
“We tried our best and even if we have to be realistic about our championship chances, as it’s not an easy task to close down a 53 point gap in the few remaining races, in Formula 1 anything can happen and we will believe in our chances all the way to the finish line in Brazil, always trying to give a hundred percent.”
In the other Ferrari, Felipe Massa said he was ‘very happy’ with his race performance, just missing his second podium of the season: “I am very happy with my race, which went fantastically well right from the beginning, thanks to a nice start which moved me up two places.
“The pace was good on both compounds and we ran consistently throughout the whole race. It was a shame I lost the place to Webber at the pit stop, because today, the podium was within our grasp and it would have been brilliant to celebrate with our fans at our home race.
“Today, overtaking wasn’t easy, because, when you find yourself behind another car, especially in the second sector, you lose a lot of downforce. Overall, the weekend has been very positive for me and for the whole team.
“We brought home a good points haul, but we know we still have a lot of work to do if we want to improve. As far as that’s concerned, I will be doing my utmost right to the very end of the Championship.”
Despite his strong performance, Massa seems to have run out of time at the Scuderia, with speculation suggesting that Kimi Raikkonen will replace his former team-mate next year.
Image courtesy Fernando Alonso.