HOCKENHEIM, 20th July 2014 (F1Plus / Graham Keilloh) - After his run to finish fifth for Ferrari in today’s German Grand Prix at Hockenheim, Fernando Alonso reckoned it was his best drive of the season.
“Fifth place is absolutely the maximum today,” said Alonso afterwards, “and very pleased, very happy probably as Austria was the best race so far in the season for me, and now probably this one.
“Because it was quite complex to manage the start, the fuel, the tyres, the change of strategy, the battles, so it was a very complex race to understand and to execute.”
Alonso confirmed that the original intention had been to stop twice today but the tyre wear experienced necessitated a three-stopper.
“We planned to do two stops in the beginning but in the middle of the race I was asking ‘how are the tyres for everyone else?’ as I really felt we’d be struggling a lot if we go for two, so we switched to three.”
The Spaniard also enjoyed his late-race battle for fifth with Daniel Ricciardo.
“Daniel fought very good, a lot of respect, always very clean, and I enjoy”.
He did however believe that the length of the battle cost him a chance of fourth place.
“We lost five or six laps behind Ricciardo, who I think was doing a good job to help Red Bull because if I don’t lose that time I probably can attack Vettel at the end.”
Kimi Raikkonen meanwhile reflected on a tough race, wherein he was occasionally in the wars on the way to P11.
“I got twice hit, ended up between two cars and damaged my front wing” Raikkonen said, “the endplate came off, so that didn’t help, I grained the front left…I couldn’t run as long as we wanted on the supersoft.”
Ferrari boss Marco Mattiacci also afterwards had to fend off questions about Raikkonen’s future.
Upon being told that the race head-to-head between the two Ferrari drivers in 2014 is 10-0 to Alonso Mattiacci said: “10-0 is soccer but not Formula One.
“He (Raikkonen) is the driver that we need” Mattiacci went on. “I think he knows what he can do better, it’s not up to me, he is a professional driver and a world champion with Ferrari. He’s motivated, he knows there is areas of improvement…we are all together on this.
“He has the utmost confidence and support from Ferrari.”
Mattiacci confirmed that Raikkonen has a Ferrari contract for 2015 and that Alonso’s runs to 2016.