'I had more pace in my pocket' – Alonso
14 April 2013 – Fernando Alonso has sent out a warning message to his rivals after securing his first victory of the season at the Shanghai International Circuit on Sunday afternoon, explaining that he had more pace available throughout the 56-lap Grand Prix.
The Ferrari driver, who put together a near-perfect strategic performance with his team after starting on the Soft compound tyre, finished more than ten seconds clear of Lotus rival Kimi Räikkönen, but believes he had lap-time available if required.
"It was a fantastic race for us, from the start to the end," Alonso explained. "We’ve made good progress with car and the tyre degradation was better than expected.
"We had some pace in the pocket but it’s difficult to know when to use it. I had more potential which hopefully we can show in Bahrain. I expect a tough race there again. We will see different conditions and who knows how competitive everyone can be. The car seems to be able to be on podium so we hope to be on podium again."
Alonso says he felt slightly relieved to bounce back so emphatically after his early retirement in Malaysia and is feeling 'very optimistic' ahead of the next round.
"The result feels great after Malaysia; we’ve finished two races this year with one second place and a victory," Alonso explained, who sits third in the championship standings. "The start of the campaign is looking good so we’re very optimistic."