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Fernando Alonso has described his second-place finish in Sunday's Australian Grand Prix as ‘a fantastic result’ for his Ferrari team, with the Maranello-based outfit enjoying a much stronger start to the season than it experienced 12 months ago.
The Spaniard, who managed to jump ahead of team-mate Felipe Massa and Red Bull rival Sebastian Vettel during a frantic second pit-stop phase, took the first chequered flag of the 2013 campaign just over 12 seconds behind race-winner Kimi Räikkönen.
"It was a fantastic race for us, fighting for the win," said Alonso. "I’m a little bit sad not to win the race but Kimi was fantastic today and the Lotus team as well. We need to congratulate them for a fantastic race.
"It was not an easy race and there was some tricky traffic, but we’re extremely happy after a very difficult start last year. Now the situation is very different; we’re feeling optimistic, the car is handling well and we have an extremely interesting season ahead of us."
Alonso approaches next weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit with a seven-point deficit to Räikkönen in the early Drivers' standings, while Red Bull rival and current title holder Sebastian Vettel sits three points further back.
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