Alonso upbeat after charge
Fernando Alonso says that his sixth-place finish in Monaco will serve as a "morale booster" for Ferrari.
Last Updated: 17/05/10 3:28pm
Fernando Alonso says that his sixth-place finish at the Monaco Grand Prix will serve as a "morale booster" for Ferrari.
The Spaniard's chances of a strong points finish seemed to be effectively over after a crash in Saturday practice ruled him out of qualifying and forced him to start from the pit lane.
But a clever strategy allowed him to pit at the end of lap one, meaning he could move through the field as others stopped later in the race.
His charge was also highlighted by some spectacular overtaking manoeuvres as he tried desperately to clear the backmarkers as early as possible.
"This result is a morale booster," the double world champion said after the race.
"To start from the pit lane and finish sixth is way more than we could have expected.
"Although it was a difficult Sunday for me, much of the credit for the result goes to the team.
"After working hard to re-build the car for the race, they chose an aggressive strategy, and to finish it without problems is the result of a super job."
Alonso actually came across the finish line in seventh place after being passed by Michael Schumacher in the final corner.
However, the German driver was given a 20-second penalty after the stewards deemed his move, which happened as the safety car pulled into the pits, illegal.
Ferrari informed Alonso that no passing was allowed during the run to the line, but Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn claimed that the race had returned to normal conditions.
"We believed the track had gone green and the race was not finishing under a safety car when the regulations would have applied," Brawn said.
"The reason for the safety car had been removed. The FIA announced: 'Safety car in this lap' early on lap 78, and the track had been declared clear by race control.
"This was further endorsed when the marshals showed green flags and lights after safety car line one (in front of the entrance to the pit lane).
"On previous occasions when it has been necessary to complete a race under a safety car full course yellows are maintained, as in Melbourne last year.
"On the last lap, we therefore advised our drivers they should race to the line and Michael made his move on Fernando for sixth place."