While several figures might have been hoping for an ‘Alonso Vs Petrov – Round 2’ stoush at the Australian Grand Prix, they may have been left disappointed after the Spaniard ran out of laps to close to the gap to the Renault driver in the closing stages of the Australian Grand Prix.
At the previous race, the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, a mini war of words erupted when Alonso – in the heat of the moment after the race – blamed the higher-placed Petrov for costing him the World Championship title.
But this time, Alonso has simply been nonchalant about finishing behind the Russian, arguing that he doesn’t consider him a championship contender!
Still holding that grudge, Fernando?
But Alonso has walked away from Albert Park with a hard-fought fourth-placed finish in a race where his Ferrari struggled to get speed from the harder-compound Pirelli tyre.
And despite it being back-to-back races where Alonso has finished behind Petrov, the Spaniard is instead looking at the bigger picture.
“For the journalists it is a very interesting race having Petrov and me, but I was looking in the mirror because I had a title contender behind me, and I was happy to have [Mark] Webber behind me,” the double World Champion told reporters after the race.
“To finish fourth, I lost points with [Lewis] Hamilton today, I lost points with [Sebastian] Vettel, but the points with Petrov I am not so stressed.”
And on the basis of Ferrari’s current performance relative to its main rivals, Red Bull and McLaren, he believes fourth place was about the maximum that could be achieved.
“I did a very good [start] today,” he added. “was side-by-side with Button, and Petrov risked in the first corner to push Button to the outside. Button pushed me to the outside to avoid Petrov, but it was not a problem.
“It was just an unlucky situation which didn’t change too much the race because it made the race more stressful, instead of starting fifth and finishing fourth I was tenth and I finished fourth. I just had to do some extra overtaking.”
[Original image via Sutton Images]