Alonso: Fifth best I could do
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso felt he did the best job he could to finish fifth at Sunday's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with a car that lacked the pace of those around him.
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With Sebastian Vettel and his Red Bull team having already sewn up the drivers' and constructors' titles, Alonso and the Scuderia have been left fighting for the runner-up spot in both championships.
Mercedes have out-paced the Ferraris in recent races and overhauled the Italian team following a strong showing at the Indian grand prix.
That form continued at the Yas Marina circuit on Sunday as Nico Rosberg finished third behind the Red Bulls of Vettel and Mark Webber, with Alonso coming home in fifth, alowing Mercedes to extend their lead to 11 points over Ferrari.
Lotus are also in contention for second spot in the constructors' championship and Romain Grosjean's point-scoring form continued as he was fourth.
But two-time world champion Alonso was pleased with his efforts and took heart from the fact he managed to finish ahead of Rosberg's team-mate Lewis Hamilton and the Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen, who crashed out on the opening lap.
"My job is done after a very, very tough weekend," he said.
"It was very difficult with us not having the pace. I think I did my maximum. The car in front was 30 seconds ahead, I lost a little time to traffic but 30 seconds is a lot so maybe we didn't have the pace to be in the top four.
"We still finished in front of one Lotus and one Mercedes, we need to do better at the next race in Austin but we minimised the damage."
Things could have been worse for the Spaniard had the stewards handed out a penalty following an incident with the Toro Rosso of Jean-Eric Vergne.
With Alonso exiting the pits on fresh soft tyres he was squeezed off of the circuit by Vergne before rejoining and continuing on up the road.
The stewards could have penalised Alonso for gaining an advantage by leaving the track but, after talking to both drivers, decided no punishment was necessary.
Alonso's team-mate Felipe Massa scored four points after bringing his car home eighth.
But the Brazilian, who will leave Ferrari at the end of the season, thought he could have done better if he had followed Alonso's move of switching on to the option tyre for his final stint.
"Fitting the mediums rather than the softs was not the best decision, because the softer compound was quicker by at least a second per lap," said Massa.
"I'd managed to do 19 laps on them in the first stint and it would not have been a problem to do the same in the final part of the race.
"It's a real shame, because we could have finished at least fifth, but even if this is not the result we deserved, I am still pleased with my performance."