Fernando Alonso admitted his second-place finish in the Singapore Grand Prix was the result of Ferrari’s ‘nothing to lose’ approach to strategy.
The Spaniard was running behind Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes in third position prior to the deployment of the safety car on lap 25 following Daniel Ricciardo’s crash at Turn 18. He promptly pitted for the medium-compound tire, while Rosberg remained out on the circuit, which turned out to be an inspired decision as Alonso was able to remain on them for the remaining 35 laps.
“We knew we didn’t have the pace today so had to invent something,” said Alonso. “The first possibility was the start and then a different strategy, which paid off at the end with a fantastic podium that tastes like a victory for us.
“It was a risky move, but in our position in the championship we have nothing to lose. If we finish fifth it doesn’t matter much. When Rosberg didn’t stop with the safety car we decided to pit and try something different and that allowed us to control the pace through the last stint, which we managed to build.”
Alonso rose back up to second after the front-runners made their final stops.
“It was not easy to finish the race with those tires after we pitted behind the safety car,” he admitted.
The Ferrari driver currently sits second in the drivers’ championship with 187 points 60 behind current leader Sebastian Vettel and concedes he needs a lot of luck on his side to take his third Formula 1 title.
“Obviously we have to be realistic because, with a few races to go and the gap is still increasing every weekend we need to be honest with ourselves,” said Alonso. “We need a lot of luck, and not just in Korea we need it in Korea, India, Abu Dhabi… We need luck every weekend if we are one second off the pace.”