Alonso: Second Tastes like Victory

Local hero Fernando Alonso said second place at the Spanish Grand Prix tasted like a win in front of his home crowd

Alonso: Second Tastes like Victory

Alonso, the Renault driver who has set the Championship alight and fired up a nation's dormant passion for Formula One, had to settle for a distant second place behind the McLaren of Kimi Raikkonen.

"Second place at home is like a victory to me," admitted Alonso. "Eight points in the pocket again is fantastic for me and the team, and for Monaco we start near the back for qualy one, so I really wanted to finish this race and the podium is a dream for sure.

"Five races, five podiums. I said many times this year the start of this year was something I never expected, I hope to continue like this, I need to finish races to score more points and I get more confidence race by race."

Watched by the King of Spain, and with most of the 115,000 capacity crowd willing him on, Alonso could at least take comfort in an extended overall lead and his fifth successive top three finish.

The 23-year-old now has 44 points to Jarno Trulli's 26.

Despite McLaren's strong showing, Alonso believes Renault can bounce back in Monaco.

"I think this race was not too representative," he added. "I think we all had problems to beat McLaren at the moment because they look very strong, but we are strong and Giancarlo set the fastest lap of the race so I think we are there, we are very close and we need to find something more.

"There are some new bits coming and we are confident we can still win races."

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