Fernando Alonso says he was putting in qualifying laps throughout Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
|By Jonathan Noble and Matt Beer||Sunday, November 13th 2011, 15:25 GMT|
Fernando Alonso said he was putting in qualifying-style laps throughout the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as he pushed to beat Lewis Hamilton.
After moving up from fifth to second on the opening lap, Alonso kept Hamilton under pressure to the finish, though he ultimately had to be content with the runner-up spot.
"I tried hard all race," said Alonso. "It was an individual race against time. I was doing qualifying laps every lap trying to close the gap but it was one tenth up or down for the whole stint and we dominated."
Both the leaders had issues with lapped traffic during the race, with several backmarkers receiving drive-through penalties for impeding. But Alonso felt both he and Hamilton lost equal amounts of time in traffic so doubted the lapped cars had affected the result.
"About the people we were catching, when he had some problems I closed the gap to two seconds and when I had problems I lost two seconds - it depended on which parts of track you caught them," said Alonso.
Ferrari has only won one race this season - Alonso's triumph at Silverstone - compared to six wins for McLaren and 11 for Red Bull. Although Alonso has managed nine other podium finishes, he said he was now looking forward to putting 2011 behind him with just the Brazil season finale remaining.
"I am looking forward," said the former champion. "To be honest I want to have the last race and think of 2012 as soon as possible - not to forget this year because the year has been quite good for the team and in general we made good improvements from last year, but we were not able to fight for the championship.
"Definitely next year is a good challenge for us - and a big motivation for next year is to do better than 2011."