Alonso: Next races 'important'
Fernando Alonso has said that the coming weeks remain "important" in the development of Ferrari's F2012 as they look to maintain their recent revival.
Last Updated: 28/05/12 2:35pm
Fernando Alonso has said that the coming races remain "important" ones for Ferrari as they bid to continue the revival that has taken him to the head of the Drivers' Championship.
The two-times World Champion regained sole possession of the lead of the title chase after finishing on the podium for the second successive race in Monaco on Sunday, the Spaniard following his runner-up position from Barcelona with a strong third-place result in the Principality.
Although some had actually expected Ferrari to do better than the third and fourth rows in qualifying, Alonso said the team were actually happy to get both cars through to Q3 for the first time this season and then, finally on Sunday, more than satisfied to improve on their starting positions in the race.
"We were fifth and seventh for the first time in 2012, both in Q3 after fighting to get through in some of the races one month ago, so this was definitely a very strong weekend with a good qualifying position and I think a good race position as well," he said.
"In fact we overtook some other teams in the Constructors' Championship today with some good points, finally, so I was happy for that, happy for the direction or happy for the momentum that we seemed to have kept from the Mugello test so that we brought some updates for the car."
Alonso had stressed in wake of Ferrari's sudden step forward in Spain that it was now key that the team continued to make steady progress to the head of the field over the coming months if they were to challenge for the title.
With the Mugello updates having by and large proved successful, the 31-year-old admits the team are finally satisfied with the way things are going and now it was key that they maintained that momentum.
"Everything seems to work, not as at the start of the championship when some of the updates were negative and we were a little bit lost, so now we are happy not for the result, not for the pace which we understand that we need to improve - we are not the fastest out there - but happy for the direction that it seems we are in," he said.
"Everything that we put on the car seems positive, so the next couple of weeks will be important."
Having started the race tied with Sebastian Vettel on points in the standings, Alonso was pleased to finish a place ahead of the German to open up a small three-point lead, but said with the season continuing to prove wide open he was going to have to concentrate on beating more than one or two drivers.
"Well, our target obviously was to try to finish in front of Sebastian, in front of Lewis - they were with us in the World Championship. And if you go race by race you concentrate on different drivers," he said.
"The next one will be Mark [Webber], now he's second in the championship. So, it will be interesting also this season with constant development of the car and the constant surprises we are having every race - you never know which one will be on pole or take the race win."