|By Editor - 18 March 2013|
Melbourne: Having cleverly undercut both Sebastian Vettel and teammate Felipe Massa to gain two places, Fernando Alonso stood on the second step of the podium beaming. After Red Bull's dominance in recent seasons, Alonso admits that beating Newey's RB9 tastes like victory.
"Finishing ahead of the Red Bull tastes like a win, even if we know that despite today’s race result, they are still the quickest" said Alonso.
Alonso also defended Ferrari's three stop strategy:
“We can claim to have started this season on the right foot, immediately in the fight with the best. Along with the results from winter testing, it is a very encouraging sign that we managed to get the most out of a weekend that was full of unknown factors, both in qualifying and the race. I think the three stop strategy was the right one: with the degradation we had, it would have been impossible to manage on one less and bringing forward the second one by a few laps meant I was able to pass Vettel and Sutil.
"Now we can expect another weekend with very changeable weather and one that also puts a lot of stress on the cars from a mechanical point of view and on the drivers, from a physical one. But we can tackle it calmly on the back of this good result” added Fernando.
It is still difficult to gauge the who the strongest team is, as the season is only one race old. Furthermore, Melbourne threw up some cold and blustery conditions which made tire graining an issue for some teams. Pundits are understandably reluctant to make any predictions this early on. However, with the hot and humid Malaysian Grand Prix just days away, the picture will become clearer.