SIlverstone, United Kingdom, July, 2011 (AFP) - Fernando Alonso said that winning Sunday's British Grand Prix had given his Ferrari team the motivation they needed after a frustrating first half to the season.
The 29-year-old Spaniard, winner of the British race for Renault in 2006, secured the Italian team's first win since last year's Korean Grand Prix with a controlled drive - and some luck - to exploit the controversial revised technical regulations.
Alonso said he was feeling particularly pleased as he had not expected his car to perform so well at the Silverstone track.
"Obviously it is a huge boost for us," said Alonso. "We were confident of being quick here at Silverstone.
"No doubts it was a race that had one red cross because it was not an easy grand prix for us; the characteristics of the corners, and the layout were never our strongest points.
"We knew that Silverstone, like Barcelona, was difficult for us, so winning here is a good motivation for everyone and gives us confidence approaching the next few races."
However, despite his victory the double champion is still 92 points adrift of title-race leader and defending champion German Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull.
With that in mind, the double champion refused to get carried away and insisted the Maranello-based team would be taking it race by race. "We will try to enjoy the moment, the win and work hard. We will have the same approach as we had in Malaysia and we had in Canada and here as well. It is a weekend to try to go for the victory, to try to go for the race.
"There are not championship thoughts at the moment because the gap is massive to Seb. We need to enjoy every weekend, and there is no time to think about anything."
His Ferrari team-mate Brazilian Felipe Massa, fifth, said he was feeling relaxed despite losing out to Briton Lewis Hamilton of McLaren after a thrilling final lap battle for fourth place.
"I was close to Lewis going into the last corner. He went to the inside, I went outside, I went to brake after him and I was able to turn a little bit in front of him and he touched me a little bit, but I don't think it was anything really wrong, in my opinion.
"And then in the last corner I was completely running wide and I had to do an alteration and he was able to put the car inside. He had the better grip and he was able to finish, I don't know the difference, but only just in front."
Massa added that he was encouraged by Ferrari's progress and is expecting a strong second half of the season. "I hope we are better in the second part of the season and we are more competitive, especially compared with Red Bull," he said.
"This race the qualifying was very close and in the race Fernando was better than them. I couldn't be but it was good for the team and I hope we carry on like that and be fighting with [Red Bull] from now until the end."