Alonso feels podium finish was possible
24 August 2014 – Fernando Alonso felt a podium finish would have been possible in Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix without his start grid drama.
The Ferrari driver was given a five-second stop/go penalty for his first stop as mechanics were working on his car after the signal to clear the grid, an issue that the team later attributed to the starter motor.
With Alonso leading third-place finisher Valtteri Bottas before his first pit-stop, he reckons the final rostrum position was up for grabs.
"The battery at the start was the biggest problem because I was in front of Bottas when I stopped, and Bottas finished third. We would have probably been around those positions," said Alonso, who ultimately classified seventh after McLaren rival Kevin Magnussen was given a penalty for forcing the Spaniard off the circuit.
"We knew that straightline speed was going to be our biggest problem and when you have that penalty and start fighting for the lower positions, that lack of speed has a higher price. But I felt more or less competitive."
In the sister Ferrari, Kimi Räikkönen enjoyed a trouble-free race en route to a season-best fourth.
"The race was clean, with no issues like we had in the past," the Finn explained. "It was probably the first race of the year [without any issues]. That helps. We could do our own race and the result was a bit better.
"At the last few races we had a better feeling, but a lot of things happened in qualifying and the races.
"There were still difficulties with the car handling, but we expected that. There are things that we have to improve, but the feeling has been there for a while, it's just been comprised by mistakes or things happening to us.
"Hopefully we start getting more clean weekends. It would make life easier, and probably the results better."
Ferrari team boss Marco Mattiacci confirmed at Spa that Alonso and Räikkönen will be retained for 2015.