Alonso: Hockenheim best race of season so far

Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel squeeze Kimi Raikkonen during their memorable battle in Germany

Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel squeeze Kimi Raikkonen during their memorable battle in Germany

Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso was in the wars throughout the German Grand Prix, going toe-to-toe with both Red Bull drivers, on his way to a fifth place which pleased him immensely, describing his race at Hockenheim as the best of the season so far.

Alonso told media afterwards, “Fifth place was absolutely the maximum. I’m very pleased. Austria was probably the best race so far this season for me, now it’s probably this one because it was quite complex to manage the start, the fuel, the tyres, the changes in strategy, the battles. It was a very complex race to understand and to execute.”

His brawl with Sebastian Vettel midway through the race and, towards the end of the race, with Daniel Ricciardo were riveting, the latter particularly nail-biting for the Spaniard as he was desperately low on fuel.

Alonso explained, “We more or less planned to do two stops at the beginning, but in the middle of the race I was asking how the tyres were for everyone else because I really felt like we were struggling to go for two stops, so we switched to three.”

Fernando Alonso chased Sebastian Vettel in vain

Fernando Alonso chased Sebastian Vettel in vain

“I’m happy with all the decisions. For the last stint I was saving fuel but I was battling with Ricciardo so I had to decide to give up the position and cross the line or fight with Ricciardo and be on the limit to cross the line. I decided to fight with Ricciardo to be in the position and then try to manage the fuel as well as I could.”

“On the last lap I had to massively save fuel – I was in eighth gear all lap and was lucky the race wasn’t 100 m longer,” revealed Alonso.

Vettel, who battled memorably with Alonso during the British Grand Prix two weeks earlier, said, “It was fun with Fernando – we started maybe where we left off in Silverstone!”

“It was quite entertaining the first half of the race and at one point it was quite tight with both the Ferraris, but we managed to stay ahead. The second stop was a bit too close and Fernando was able to pass without too many difficulties, which put us on the back foot.”

Fernando Alonso versus Daniel Ricciardo was epic

Fernando Alonso versus Daniel Ricciardo was epic

“We decided to be a bit more aggressive towards the end and make sure that we got the undercut and then we could put some gap between us, which was crucial for us as we were quite tight in terms of fuel towards the end of the race,” sid the quadruple world champion.

Ricciardo was buzzing at the end of his race which was compromised in the Turn 1 melee, but he recovered and again deliver an impressive performance to finish sixth, crossing the line tucked under the wing of Alonso’s Ferrari.

He reflected, “That was awesome fun, one of my most enjoyable races I’ve had. I mean, not on the first lap, obviously, that was just the wrong place at the wrong time. I wasn’t as [badly] off as Massa and hopefully he is OK. I was on the outside and the collision happened, I had to avoid it and went pretty far down the field, I don’t know exactly how far back.”

“From then on I just got on to the radio and said: let’s make an amazing recovery and make ourselves proud today. And I think we did that, we fought hard and we didn’t leave anything on the table. These are the moments and battles that I personally thrive off and enjoy.”

“Fernando is known to be a tough racer and I thought “who better to have a good fight with”? I was on the Primes and he was on fresher Options and I gave it the best fight I could and, well..nearly!” mused the big smiling Australian. (GP247)