Alonso: Gracious in Defeat

Fernando Alonso was at his most gracious today as he offered his congratulations to Iceman Kimi Raikkonen.

“Congratulations to Kimi,” Alonso said. “I said many times who has more points in the last race deserves the championship, so in this case, Kimi did a great championship. It was up and down for everyone at the end, he deserves it so congrats to him.”

When quizzed over the race, Alonso explained that he had expected Ferrari to dominate the weekend and when he saw the two scarlet cars slot into first and second place at the first corner, he knew that any chance of his winning the title lay in the Ferraris breaking down.

“I knew it would be very difficult,” he continued. “I knew I had to take 5 points from Lewis because without a problem for Lewis in the race, I knew Ferrari could do one-two and that wasn t good enough for me.

“At the start I was able to be third. Then, it was impossible to stay with the Ferraris. In the first two or three laps, I was keeping pace with them and I was hoping the pace was just that. Obviously we were taking care of the tyres in the first couple of laps but when they pushed, I was not able to keep the pace.

“It was the same in China I was keeping third position and keeping fingers crossed that one of the Ferraris would have trouble, but there was nothing I could do.”

It is well documented that Alonso has been less than happy through much of the season. When asked about the season as a whole, Alonso said that the season had been difficult, however he was happy overall.

“I think, at the end, in other jobs you have ups and downs you have better moments and bad moments,” he explained. “This year, I had difficulties with the team, it is no secret. But we tried to work as hard as we could and we arrived at the final race fighting for the championship.

We finished third, one point behind in the world championship. We had a great car a fantastic car so even if it was a tough season, I have great memories of this season so I feel comfortable.”