ISTANBUL, May 8, 2011 (AFP) - A relieved Fernando Alonso said his Ferrari team could enjoy racing in Formula One again after finishing on the podium for the first time this year in Sunday's Turkish Grand Prix.
Alonso at the podium, his first this year.
The 29-year-old Spaniard, a two-times world champion, delivered the team's first top three finish in the fourth race of the season.
"That was good, much better than before. I think we did a good weekend overall," he said. "The car performed a bit better than what we did in the first three races of the championship -- so finally we enjoyed racing again.
"It was great and we enjoyed a race fighting for the podium positions. We were changing positions through the race. Finally we can enjoy racing again." Alonso said he had been delayed in the early part of the race after being
caught behind the slower Mercedes of German Nico Rosberg - a delay that ended his hopes of winning.
"We lost a little bit of time behind Rosberg at the beginning, and we did not feel the possibility to fight for P1 anymore, so we concentrated on P2," he said. "I had a little bit of advantage in terms of tyre degradation compared to Mark (Webber of Red Bull), we used the DRS (Drag Reduction System) and I was able to overtake him, and in the last part of the race it was more or less the opposite.
"For me, it was ok. You know.. fighting with Red Bull these days is difficult. It was close but we'll try again." Red Bull's defending world champion and current leader German Sebastian Vettel won the race ahead of his team-mate Australian Mark Webber with Alonso third.