SILVERSTONE, England, July 8, 2012 (AFP) - Despite having led for most of the race, Fernando Alonso said he was happy to finish second for Ferrari in Sunday's British Grand Prix.
The Spaniard, who claimed pole position in dramatic style on Saturday, led from the start but could not match the pace of the rapid Red Bulls and was eventually passed by race-winner Australian Mark Webber.
Nonetheless, Alonso said he was happy to settle for second and maintain his lead in the drivers world championship.
"I am happy with second place," said Alonso, who won his home race in Valencia two weeks ago.
"Now 10 minutes after having finished and having led the race there is a strange feeling for losing victory - I am sure in one hour I will be much happier!"
The 30-year-old added that he was impressed with the overall performance of his car, and hopes his Ferrari team can close the gap to the ever-impressive Red Bulls in the next few races.
"The car was good in Valencia and here, in a completely different track, it seems to perform very well, so I'm happy with the improvements in the car," he said.
"We still need that last step to close the gap to these guys. We need to be quicker in some conditions."
Although Webber's win meant Alonso's lead in the drivers' standings was cut from 20 to 13 points, he maintained it was still a good day for the team.
"We are still there, that is the main target for us and today we lost seven points to Mark but we gained some extra points on the rest of the field," he said. "So it was good Sunday in terms of the championship."
His Ferrari team-mate Brazilian Felipe Massa was also in a positive mood after finishing fourth.
The 31-year-old was encouraged by the pace of his car and believes he can challenge for a podium in the next few races.
"It was a good race and I am glad to have finally brought home a good result for me and for the team," he said.
"Race after race, the situation has been improving and now we are capable of fighting for the podium: it might have happened here, but it could also have been possible in Montreal and Valencia, which means that today's
performance is not a fluke."