Alonso Hails Brazilian Podium

Except for the first two positions – Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa – much has changed after the Brazilian Grand Prix in the overall classification. Runner-up Fernando Alonso and 3rd place Kimi Raikkonen have both gained a spot in the drivers' standings, with the former also clinching his 3rd podium of the season. Thanks to an amazing second half of the season, the Spaniard has managed to end the year on an incredible 5th place – considering his rather poor Renault car.

The two-time world champion started the race from 6th place and stayed there until after the first caution of the day – passing McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen but also losing a place to Sebastian Vettel after the first few corners. He then took advantage of a chaotic state of events in the race – while also pitting for quick tires at his first stop – and raced all the way into 3rd overall.

“I think the start was difficult for everybody. It was wet obviously but especially turns one, two and three so we had a few problems with there. Then safety car came out and two laps after the restart I pit for dry tires. The team saw BMW with dry tires going quite quick, so it was quite a good decision because suddenly I found myself in P3, so at that point I think the race was good for us,” said Alonso when referring to the first part of the race.

The Spaniard then took advantage of a quicker second pit stop into the race and got into 2nd place, a position that he defended until the finish line. He stopped for intermediate tires with 5 laps to go – just like the majority of drivers – and had to resist a pretty late attack from Raikkonen for 2nd place. Having outscored all his championship frontrunners, the Renault driver ended the season with some remarkable 61 points, one point ahead of BMW's Nick Heidfeld.

“We kept second place until the end, fighting to the end. It was a fantastic result and finishing on the podium was much more than we wanted. I think Massa was a little bit quick today and I was more concerned with the gap to Kimi and the race victory that I knew was there,” concluded the Spaniard.

Alonso is also expected to make his final decision on whether he'll continue his collaboration with the French outfit or sign a new agreement with Honda later this week. Nonetheless, all reports lead to a contract extension with Renault, especially since the French manufacturer has closed the gap to rivals Ferrari and McLaren in terms of car performance.
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