Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, August 25th, 2013 (F1Plus / Graham Keilloh) -Despite finishing second to Sebastian Vettel in the Belgian Grand Prix and thus having the gap between him and Vettel at the championship table top extended to 46 points, Fernando Alonso was happy with his Spa weekend overall. This was on the grounds that the updates brought to the Ferrari for this weekend worked well, ensuring that the he improved on recent tepid results. He now feels that he and the Ferrari team can look ahead to the remainder of the season with greater optimism:
"The weekend was good for us, recovering some feelings that we lost in July with the car" said Alonso after the race. "We felt a little more competitive this weekend, for sure not for pole position but in the first four or five positions on the grid, but yesterday we were extremely unlucky with the situation in Q3."
Also Alonso stated that he is absolutely not giving up on this year’s drivers’ championship: "It was extremely important for the championship to get some good points after a few races that were not so good…Today we recovered some of the optimism we lost, I feel it was a good weekend for the championship in terms of feeling and in terms of the points as well.
"I’m extremely happy with the performance we are achieving on Saturday and Sunday and the championship is open. And we have the best example last year, I was 41 points ahead of Sebastian after the Monza race and I arrived in Texas 15 points behind."
Alonso nevertheless conceded that – even though he recovered from a lowly starting slot of ninth in the Spa race – he was second best to Vettel and Red Bull on pace: "We are not first and second in any practice or the quali or the race. So there’s still work to do…Obviously we lost an extra seven points, when they (Vettel /Red Bull) are dominating the weekend, when they do everything better than us and they win the race they deserve their win and we need to aim for the maximum points. So weekends like this one we need to extract the maximum from the car. In the race once we were second we were two or four tenths slower (than Vettel) every lap. When you are the second fastest you deserve to finish second. We just need to congratulate Sebastian, Red Bull and try to do better for Monza."
Alonso also suggested that Ferrari was getting on top of its correlation problems that have dogged it during recent seasons: "I’m happy with the parts we brought here, it seems they are working fine…We went backwards (after the early part of the year) in terms of the step in the car, we lost a bit of the direction to go, we understood the problem, we analysed everything and the things that we’re now bringing to the races are now delivering what we expect – finally."