Fernando Alonso has defended his Ferrari team's decision to not pit for a second time during the Canadian Grand Prix, despite dropping down to fifth position.
The Spaniard was fighting with McLaren's Lewis Hamilton for victory when the Briton decided to pit again with 18 laps to go, dropping down the order. Alonso, having stopped just once, stayed out in the lead, but his tires began to degrade and his pace deteriorated considerably, costing him four places.
The Ferrari driver, however, says his team's decision to try and go for victory was the right one, and he said only the tire degradation was to blame for missing out.
"I feel good. We tried to win the race," said Alonso, who lost the lead of the championship to Hamilton. "With 18 laps to go Hamilton stopped and we either stayed out and covered [Sebastian] Vettel or we stopped with him and see what happened.
"If we had stopped with Hamilton we would have returned in fourth and then with [Romain] Grosjean's degradation we would have finished fourth in the race and it would have been a huge mistake to stop. But now it seems the mistake was ours and Vettel's, so somebody had to get it wrong when there's a stop with 18 laps to go.
"We made the decision to try to win the race and it didn't work out, not because of the strategy, but because of the tire degradation. I want that to be very clear because there will be confusion tomorrow, from people who don't understand the race.
"We stopped on the same lap as Grosjean, as he finished second with the same lap times as Hamilton. So it's not about stopping with Hamilton or deciding not to stop, or stopping once or twice. The problem is that Grosjean did 55 laps with the tires with a good pace and we did 45. That's the only problem."
Alonso said that despite losing the chance to finish second, the weekend had only been full of positives for him and his team.
"It's all positive. The strategy we tried was positive, the result was positive and, again, the points scored are positive. No one is going to win the championship in the seventh race – there's a lot left. But race by race, if you don't score strong points you may start to lose it. So when it comes to points for the championship it's another very good weekend."
The Ferrari driver claimed his team did not even expect to be fighting for victory this weekend given the nature of the Montreal circuit.
"We know Canada is a McLaren circuit. It has won a lot here and Hamilton has scored most pole positions. When we caught the plane to Canada I don't think anyone thought about winning the race, or maybe about finishing second. We are talking about having settled for third or fourth. We are talking about 12 or 15 points tops. We have 10. Perfect."