It was a case of mixed fortunes for Fernando Alonso in Austin as he secured second place in the driver’s championship but saw Ferrari lose ground to Mercedes in the battle for second in the constructors’ version.
Alonso had a typically feisty race in Austin, eventually finishing fifth.
“The main goal of the weekend was to beat Mercedes, to fight for the constructors’ championship,” said Alonso. “It was not a good weekend from that aspect, we lost some points again. Lotus is getting closer, and for whatever reason we are losing a little bit of pace in the last Grand Prix. We need to find something for Brazil, because I think it’s going to be a tough weekend again.
“Entering Q3 is difficult, entering the points is difficult, so we need to improve for the next race. But in a way I secured second place in the drivers’ World Championship today, which I think with the actual car we have is World Champion of the rest.”
Alonso just managed to hold off Nico Hulkenberg in the closing laps.
“It was difficult I think, a very difficult race for us. From the start we knew that we could lose one position with Perez, starting on the wrong side of the grid. Unfortunately we lost it. I wasn’t able to run so close in the first stint, because I was damaging the tires, I stepped back a little bit and then I recovered a little bit of pace around the pit stop time.
“With the hard tire we were maybe a little bit more competitive, we were able to attack Perez, we were able to attack Hulkenberg. But I finished the tires in the last two or three laps, so Nico was coming back, attacking again. I was lucky, one more lap and I would lose the position with Nico.
“When you are in free air you can manage the tires a little bit, and control the wear of the tires and control the pace, but when you are in traffic you never know how much you need to push. You would like to overtake, but you stress more the tires, and it was a difficult race.”COTA, Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Formula 1, Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez, USGP