Q & A with Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso left Australia still lat the head of the championship despite a spin on the opening lap of the race

Q & A with Fernando Alonso

But despite thinking that he could have won the race, fourth place left the Spaniard delighted.

AUTOSPORT heard from him after the race.

Q. Could you explain what happened to you at the first corner?

Fernando Alonso: I think I need to see it on television. I made a very bad start, I was very slow and moving in - so I lost a couple of positions. In the first corner I had one car on the right, and one on the left. Then suddenly I touched with somebody and I spun. Unfortunately I lost all the positions and I was at the back of the grid. At that time I thought maybe the race was over, but the car was superb in the race and we had the pace to recover some good positions and finish very high.

Q. In Bahrain, you overtook your team-mate at the first corner, here it was the other way around. What were you thinking when that happened?

FA: Nothing. I was a lot more worried about being last. I was P22 so I was not thinking about my team-mate at that moment, I was just thinking about scoring some points. Then, it was a fantastic result in the end for the team, and for myself as well. So, I was ready to sign before the race for this result - if you win the race you take seven points to your main competitor.

Now, I took 12 points to Vettel, to Michael and to some of the main rivals for the championship. So it has been a much better race in terms of points than Bahrain, if you compare with your main competitor. So, I am extremely happy - especially how the race developed. Being last at the first corner, and then the reward at the end of the race has been much better than I expected.

Q. When you were last did you think you could recover to finish where you finished? And did you enjoy coming from the back?

FA: Now, for the people who think that the races are boring, we can finish that conversation for the next two or three grands prix. I was not convinced that I could recover the positions to get into the points. The first laps with the intermediate tyres, if you see the times I was like two seconds quicker than anyone because I was not caring too much. I thought maybe I will crash or maybe I will recover my position - so it was maximum attack.

The car was perfect, and now even thinking through the race and all the analysis - there is the possibility that you can win the race even starting last because the car was so much quicker today than all the others. I was very, very happy and very confident with the car. I enjoyed it - and I prefer to start first and be bored until the end of the race, but it was an interesting race in terms of overtaking and in terms of battles.

Q. Did you feel that you should have been let past Felipe, and did you ask the team if that was possible?

FA: No. I don't think so. We are racing also with your team-mate. This is the second race of the championship, so there is nothing you can do. Also, when I arrive behind Felipe my tyres were not in any more a good shape because I was pushing very hard at the beginning. I don't think at that time that I could do any more than that. I was more concentrating on Hamilton and Webber - who were coming behind, than attacking Felipe and Robert. I was super happy with fourth, so I stayed there.

Q. When the cars ahead were pitting for the second set of tyres, did you consider doing that as well?

FA: Yes, we were talking. We remained opened until the last moment in terms of the strategy. But, always the simulation says it was better to stay out. It was the risk of losing the positions at the end of the race, as Hamilton and Webber attacked in the last couple of laps. It was a risk we were happy to take because we know how gentle our car is with the tyres, so I think the people that did the second pit stop for dry tyres, it was more the teams who have to worry about the durability of the tyres - so it was fine.

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