Alonso rues Monaco red flags
|By Jamie O'Leary||Sunday, May 29th 2011, 15:23 GMT|
Fernando Alonso believes that a late race stoppage could well have cost him victory at the Monaco Grand Prix.
The Ferrari driver finished just 1.1 seconds behind race winner Sebastian Vettel, but had far fresher tyres than the Red Bull driver and had reduced a 7s deficit to nothing in the time that elapsed between a mid-race safety car and the red flag on lap 72.
With every driver allowed to fit new tyres for the restarted race, Alonso's advantage was nullified. The Spaniard, however, feels that had this not happened, he could have overtaken the German and won the race.
"I think we gained one position with the first safety car [by overtaking Jenson Button for second place] and maybe we lose [the] victory in the last red flag," said Alonso.
"I really think in the last eight or nine laps, the tyres on the Red Bull were struggling a lot - certainly in the last part of the circuit.
"There was nothing to lose for me. I am not leading the championship. I will try and win the race and if we crash, we crash."
Alonso was nevertheless satisfied with his runner-up spot, which was the best result of the year for him and the Ferrari team.
He paid tribute to the team for bouncing back after a below-par performance in Spain last week, a race at which Alonso led for the first 18 laps, but finished fourth, a lap behind winner Vettel.
"Third in Turkey and now second here, so it was a good weekend for us," Alonso added. "We were quick on Thursday and quick in qualifying, so it was okay for us.
"I am extremely happy because the team needs this result and the podium after some weeks with difficulties. Seven days ago in Barcelona we were 1m30s behind the leader, so this is a much more normal weekend for us and a good motivation for the guys."
Alonso's result kept him fifth in the World Championship, but reduced his deficit to fourth-placed Button to seven points. He is 74 points adrift of Vettel.