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2012-05-13 19:49

HOT SEAT: Ferrari's Fernando Alonso (left) and Lotus F1's Kimi Raikkonen "chair" Williams' Pastor Maldonado on the Catalunya podium after Maldondo won the 2012 Spanish F1 GP. Alonso was second, Raikkonen third. Image: AFP

Keith Weir

BARCELONA, Spain - Spaniard Fernando Alonso was happy to settle for second in his home 2012 F1 GP and be level on points with Sebastian Vettel.

Alonso has had early season problems with his Ferrari and was counting his blessings after Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado upstaged the bigger names by winning Sunday's race for Williams.

"We are a little bit surprised about the quantity of points we have and a bit surprised about the weekend result," Alonso said after the race. He is level on 61 points with Vettel, Briton Lewis Hamilton is third on 53.


F1 fans are enjoying the most topsy-turvy season in years with a different winner from each of the first five races, the first time that has happened since 1983.

Alonso said he was hoping for some improvements from his car after testing in Italy in recent weeks but that the second place was perhaps misleading. "Maybe we out-performed a little bit in terms of the potential we have and maybe some other teams under-performed or had some problems."

Alonso won against the odds in a wet Malaysia in March but made it clear that Ferrari had more work to do to be consistently competitive. His team mate Felippe Massa has scored only two so far in 2012.

"We have had the most difficult start in the championship in my three years at Ferrari with a car that was not competitive at all," Alonso added. "When we are first and second in qualifying and first and second in a race, then we can say we have the best car."

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