Alonso fights back as Massa holds on for podium

Fernando Alonso was relieved to pick up more points, after falling straight to the back of the field after his first corner accident with Jenson Button and Michael Schumacher.

The Spaniard staged an all-mighty comeback to climb back into the top ten. However, the 28-year-old’s charge was halted when he came up behind his team-mate, Felipe Massa, forcing him to settle for fourth and fend off the drivers behind.

Felipe Massa recorded his second podium of the season with a third place finish for the Scuderia.

This means that Ferrari are in a command of both championships as the season heads to Malaysia, next weekend.

Felipe Massa – 3rd: “I am very happy with this result, for myself and for the team. Given everything that happened, rain at the start, the safety car, the switch to slick tyres when the track was still very slippery – we did a great job. These points are very important for the classification: I have never been very lucky here and in the past, I have often struggled in the early part of the season. The key to getting on the podium was the start. I managed not to spin the wheels, while other drivers struggled for grip and I managed to move up to second. Then I lost some places in the early stages, when I had a few problems with grip, but thanks to the strategy, I then managed to make up some. I was able to close on Kubica but I never had a real chance of passing him, while behind me Fernando got very close on more than one occasion, making the most of a few errors. I think the spectators in the grandstands and in front of their TV screens had fun today: you could hardly call it boring!”

Fernando Alonso – 4th: “I am pleased with this result. I got an awful start, because I had wheel spin on a white line and was last after the first corner following a collision with two other cars, so to finish fourth is very significant, especially given what happened to some other drivers, meaning we have increased our lead over some of our closest rivals in the title fight. Thanks to the strategy, we managed to get this result. The car was perfect and we were able to run a very long stint with the soft tyres. When I found myself behind Felipe, maybe I could have gone a bit quicker, but we know it’s very hard to pass in Formula 1 and between team-mates, one should not take any unnecessary risks. If we had managed to get past Kubica, then it might have been a different story, but it wasn’t possible, apart from the fact I also had to defend my position against Hamilton and Webber, who were on fresher tyres than us. For sure, after an exciting and action packed race like this, I don’t think we’ll hear much more talk about boring races!”

Stefano Domenicali: “We can be satisfied with this result. At the end of an incident packed race we managed to get one driver onto the podium and the other who had been last after the first corner into fourth spot. Fernando staged a fantastic climb through the field and might have got an even better result, but we know overtaking is always difficult, especially when it involves cars with similar performance levels. He was perfect when defending his position against Hamilton in the closing stages. Felipe got a really good start which formed the basis of his final result: he had a difficult weekend and I am sure this second consecutive podium is pleasing for him. Reliability however is the key factor, as we saw again today. In terms of the championship, today’s result is very positive: those who are our strongest competitors at the moment picked up just a few points and even when compared to other drivers, we have extended our lead. Now we must remain focussed and prepare as well as possible for the next week’s race in Malaysia, where we will again find different conditions to those we have experienced in the first two Grands Prix.”

Chris Dyer: “Before the race, we had hoped for a better result, but after what happened at the start and the first corner, with Fernando relegated to the back of the pack, we have to be happy with taking home a third and a fourth place. We opted to run just one set of dry tyres and that proved to be the right decision. If we had pitted a second time, we would definitely have lost a few places, while staying out on track, we knew our pursuers would catch us in the closing stages and then it would be a case of defending position which is exactly what happened, with a positive outcome. After two races, we are leading both championships and that means we can look forward with confidence to the rest of the season.”