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GP Week : Issue 185
even for Formula One’s resident alchemist, a podium position on sunday may have seemed in the realm of fantasy for Fernando Alonso after qualifying tenth on saturday. The Ferrari driver had publicly vented his frustration about the ineffectiveness of the Scuderia’s recent updates, with the team going from title favourites in China to nearly a second off the pace at Silverstone. A decent start from Alonso, combined with a poor start from Webber and Hamilton’s retirement, saw the Spanish racer back in the hunt for a decent points-paying position, but Alonso would spend the majority of his race staring at the back end of Daniel Ricciardo’s Toro Rosso. He was lucky not to lose a front wing after an overzealous dive into Copse Corner on the first lap. With Alonso and Hamilton both fighting their way through the pack, the pair optimised their tyre strategy, choosing to be on the freshest rubber possible during the final phase of the race. As a result, both drivers were able to capitalise on a fading Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen, whose despondent radio transmission about his team’s lack of a call to box was entirely justified. In his post-race comments, Alonso was under no illusion about what his third place meant. In fact, the double world champion was left ruing previous opportunities lost earlier in the season – not least his DNF in Malaysia. “Overall I think it was a very lucky race for us,” he said. “Looking at the problems with tyres for some of the drivers, the drivers who didn't have any problems have to feel lucky. I ’m happy for the points because we reduced the gap a little in this race, but we saw this weekend that the pace is not good enough. There were some other Sundays when we lost some points when maybe I'd been more optimistic. Today we got some points.” Even with Vettel’s retirement, Alonso’s typically unwavering self-belief is starting to show signs of fatigue. ABOVE: "Any room for a Spaniard at Porsche?" – Fernando and his buddy Mark chat on the rostrum ... Fernando – running out of aces 32 GPWEEK.com // 32 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> GREAT BRITAIN