Podium better than Alonso expected

Autosport

Fernando Alonso does not see the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as a missed opportunity to gain more ground on Sebastian Vettel, a podium finish being more than he expected from the race.

The Ferrari driver finished second to Kimi Raikkonen after having started sixth at Yas Marina.

With Vettel having started from the pitlane, the race was viewed as a great opportunity to take a sizeable chunk out of his 13-point deficit to the German.

But with Vettel hauling his Red Bull up to third, he saw his advantage reduced by Alonso by just three points, leaving him with an advantage of 10 heading into the final two races.

"I am very happy," said Alonso, who finished less than a second behind Raikkonen.

"We were not super-competitive this weekend. We had to fight the whole race. There was good overtaking and good strategy, which gave us the possibility to fight for the win.

"Second was the maximum achievable today starting sixth, but Sunday was better and we will keep fighting until the end."

Alonso said he was not looking at what Vettel was doing in the race as he never thought a place on the podium was realistic for himself, given Ferrari's form of late.

"We were concentrating on our race," he added. "All our simulations had given us the possibility to finish fifth or sixth, so we were not very optimistic with today's race and whatever Seb was doing we were taking 10 or eight points maximum.

"So we concentrated on our race and he did a very good race and he was able to use the performance in some parts of the race in clean air, plus two safety cars to help him.

"There is nothing we can do but concentrate on our race and if we finish ahead of Seb in the next two races then maybe we have a chance."

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