SINGAPORE - Formula 1 championship leader Fernando Alonso was happy with his third place the 2012 Singapore F1 GP on Sunday despite seeing his advantage over race winner Sebastian Vettel cut to 29 points Vettel inherited the race lead from pole starter Lewis Hamilton after the Briton retired with a broken gearbox and Vettel held off the other McLaren driven by Jenson Button and Alonso's Ferrari to re-ignite his hopes of a third consecutive title.ALONSO LOOKS AHEADAlonso has made a habit of converting poor qualifying positions into big points so far in 2012 to forge ahead of the field and the double World champion was able to draw on his experience to achieve another strong result in Singapore. He said after recording his 81st F1 podium (putting him third on the list in that category): "It was the best I could hope for as we were not very competitive but we qualified well, which was the best part of the weekend."It was a very positive weekend. We only lost points to one of our major contenders, which is good considering we are not quick enough."Alonso is hoping for an improved performance in qualifying at the 2012 Japanese GP in Suzuka on October 7 to stay ahead of his rivals with just six rounds remaining in the 20-race season."It's a little bit difficult to predict as it has been a year of ups and downs for all the teams. Here we (Ferrari) could only qualify fifth and 13th which is not what we are hoping for," he said. "We need to do better at Suzuka, it is similar to Silverstone where we did well, so we're hoping for an improved performance."BRAZILIAN BATTLEAlonso's team mate Felipe Massa continues to be the subject of speculation concerning his future with the Italian team and the Brazilian had an eventful race, dropping from 13th to last on the first lap before fighting back to finish eighth. His battle with fellow Brazilian Bruno Senna after the second pace-car restart was a highlight of the race but Massa was unhappy with his compatriot, who almost pushed him into the barrier at Turn 13."I think that was not nice because I was already alongside and he pushed over to my car and wedged me into the wall," Massa said. "Fortunately nothing happened to my car and I'm a little bit more calm now."Massa was forced to pit on the first lap but a patient drive enabled him to score valuable points in his quest to hold on to his seat. "It was a puncture because someone touched me," Massa added. "It's unfortunate but the car today was fantastic."I was so happy with the car and the pace and how I was driving today. Even starting 13th, it was a race where we could have finished in the top five with both cars."I'm happy with my race but not with what happened at the first corner, but it's true that starting near the back it's more likely this can happen."