Fernando Alonso may have finished a distant second to Sebastian Vettel at Spa, but the Spaniard was pleased to be back in the game after some frustrating races in July.
Alonso heads to Ferrari’s home race at Monza 46 points adrift of Vettel, but with 200 still available, he’s not out of the fight.
“I think the weekend was more or less good for us with recovering some feelings that we lost in July with the car especially,” he said. “We were a little bit more competitive – or we felt a little bit more competitive this weekend.
“Not for sure maybe for pole position, but to be in the first four or five positions on the grid, maybe that was possible but yesterday I think we were extremely unlucky with the situation in Q3, with weather and the track: where we were, in the place we were, at the time we were was wrong.
“So, unfortunately some times in these changeable conditions you are lucky, sometimes unlucky. I remember Malaysia very well in Q3, we were in the right place in the right moment, and we were second and third of the grid. Yesterday was a little bit the opposite. So we had to plan a perfect race from the start to the pace of the car, to the strategy and everything worked fine, and we could recover some places and extremely important for the championship also to get some good points again after three races [that were] not so good.
Alonso said his title hopes are still alive: “Obviously we lost an extra seven points but when they are dominating the weekend, when they do everything better than us and they win the race, they deserve the win and we need to aim for maximum points. Weekends like this one, we need to extract the maximum from the car.
“That is what we did this weekend, all we could in qualifying, all we could in the race. In the race, once we were second we were two to four tenths slower per lap. When you are the second fastest, you deserve to finish second.
“So we just need to congratulate Sebastian, Red Bull and try to get better for Monza, but in terms of the championship, as I said, we came from two fifth places in Hockenheim and Hungary, with a little bit of a not good feeling and not good performance from the car, and today I think we recovered some of the optimism that we lost and I think it was a good weekend for the championship in terms of feeling and in terms of points as well.”
Fernando Alonso, Formula 1, Spa-Francorchamps