Fernando Alonso says the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend should act as a warning to Ferrari that it still needs to find a lot more speed, even though he was able to fend off Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull for second.
Red Bull dominated the entire Hungaroring event, although Vettel's penalty for not staying sufficiently close behind his race-leading team-mate Mark Webber during the safety car period meant Alonso was able to get between them in the results. He had also managed to split them off the line, although Webber's decision to postpone his pitstop allowed him to jump the Ferrari.
"We were clearly slower than both of them all weekend," said Alonso. "It was no surprise in the race.
"We felt very slow today compared to them but thanks maybe to the layout of the track and difficulties to overtake we were able to stay consistent and finish in second. It's good for us but we know we need to improve race pace and qualifying pace. This time we were not quick enough to fight with Red Bull so we need to be realistic about what we did.
"It's a fantastic result on Sunday but overall we need to push and to keep improving the car as we saw this weekend."
The Spaniard said he had gone into the race believing anything better than third was unlikely.
"Third place was our deserved place," said Alonso. "We have been third mainly in free practice, Q1, Q2 and Q3 so third was what we expected from the race. The car did a very good start today to arrive first into the first corner so I nearly had the chance to overtake both Red Bulls, but in the end it was not possible, just enough to put myself second.
"I tried to pit and to secure second place and then Mark did a fantastic first stint, 40 laps with soft tyre and no problems at all, that maybe surprised us and we were not quick enough to make our strategy work. When you have the pace advantage that Red Bull had then any strategy works."
He reckoned Red Bull's speed advantage was such that on a more overtaking-friendly track, Vettel would have easily reclaimed second.
"We had 40 laps with Vettel behind, one second or two seconds quicker than us," Alonso sad. "The layout of the circuit helped today - on a normal circuit it would have been impossible to maintain second."