Alonso thought podium was possible: 'I even overtook Verstappen'

27-09-2021 21:24
F1 News
Alonso thought podium was possible: 'I even overtook Verstappen'

Before the Russian Grand Prix Fernando Alonso said he was not confident of a podium finish this season. Yet the race went differently than expected for the Spaniard and he now has a different opinion.

Alonso qualified on P6 on Saturday and during the race he had a competitive pace. A few laps before the finish he was even driving on P3. "I have to be happy with the points and I think, yes, it’s a good place with the team and for the constructors’ points but I think today we did a very good race," he said. "We had an amazing pace, we could keep up with Perez in the first stint, and after the pit stop [on Lap 36] we did overtake even Verstappen at one point", Alonso says on the official website of the Formula 1.

“So, the car was flying today, and I think we deserved more. When it started raining, we overtook Ricciardo, Perez and Sainz and we were P3 – so I really thought the first podium was possible today, and on merit, not luck. Just by pure pace", he says.

Rain came at an unfortunate time

Alonso was one of the drivers who went in for intermediate tyres later. "I think Lando [Norris] and myself, we lost a lot for places – Charles [Leclerc] as well, Perez as well – and some people got very lucky and they were up there on the podium. I think you cannot predict that intensity of the rain, but they were struggling with the right tyres and they gambled; it was a lucky day for sure", he said of his rivals.

"I think we deserved more, but plenty of positives for the team, and, as I said, the level of competitiveness that we showed today in the race, it was not seen so far in any other race. So we need to understand why and try to keep it forward for Turkey", he finishes.

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