Fernando Alonso believes Charles Pic could potentially have cost him a shot at victory in Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix after ignoring blue flags during the race.
The Marussia driver was given a penalty for having not let Alonso through quickly enough, the Spaniard losing valuable time in his fight for the lead with Pastor Maldonado.
Alonso finished the race three seconds behind the Williams driver and admitted he was unimpressed with Pic. Although he acknowledged that Maldonado and Williams were ultimately faster, he hoped Pic's penalty would act as a warning to backmarkers.
"We were a little bit unlucky," said Alonso. "We had a Marussia that got a penalty, which is obviously not a solution now, but hopefully people will start to understand that they need to respect the rules and today they didn't and they got a penalty, but maybe not enough for the penalty which could have cost us a victory."
The Ferrari driver, whose team had big hopes of taking a step forward in Spain thanks to the upgrades introduced, admitted he was surprised to be so strong all weekend. Alonso now shares the championship lead with Sebastian Vettel, and believes that he has flattered his car so far.
"Definitely we are a little bit surprised by the quantity of the points we have and surprised by the weekend result," Alonso said. "We were confident to improve the car, we were hoping for some signs of improvement here in Barcelona and in Bahrain we were out of Q3 and in race, P9 one minute behind the leaders. So we arrived here with optimism about the upgrades but the overall weekend pace has been better than expected because we were quick in qualifying and quick in the race.
"But this, how I feel after the weekend, I still don't know where we are. We need to wait for more races for the championship to stabilize a bit. I think we overperform for the car we have and maybe other cars underperform a little. It is very strange, as we saw this weekend."
Despite the strong showing, the two-time champion is refusing to believe Ferrari has a car capable of winning everywhere yet.
"We'll see," he said when asked if Ferrari had turned the corner. "When we are first and second in one qualifying and first and second in the championship then we will have the best car. Consistency and ability to develop is important because two tenths can be six or seven positions.
"But what we can say is we had the most difficult start to the championship with a car that was not competitive at all, and after one quarter of the championship we are leading with Vettel, so we have to be proud of our position. Maybe not so proud of the competitive package we have but we are working on that."