Fernando Alonso believes he could have challenged for victory in the Monaco Grand Prix had he not crashed in final practice and missed the qualifying session.
Alonso was quickest in the first two practice sessions of the weekend, but damaged his Ferrari F10 severely when he crashed at Massenet 20 minutes into Saturday's final practice. The team was unable to repair the car in time for qualifying and the Spaniard started the race from the pit lane. He made an early pit stop and raced through to sixth place – which he regained after Michael Schumacher was penalized for passing him at the final corner of the last lap as the safety car returned to the pits – but despite rescuing points from the race, Alonso remained frustrated and believes he could have won the race.
"On Saturday morning, you all know what happened – and sixth place on Sunday therefore had a very different flavor to it," Alonso said in his blog on Ferrari's website. "This result should make the team proud of all they did in difficult circumstances.
"It's never happened to me before, not to be able to take part in qualifying. It can happen that you go out in the early stages, because of a mistake or a technical problem, but to find yourself having to watch the screen right from the start, that was really cruel.
"Sunday was very satisfying. We were aware that if we wanted to finish in the points, everything had to be perfect: the car, strategy, overtaking and tires. And that was indeed the case. The first laps were very hectic, with six overtaking moves and then I had to try and make the most of the strategy, waiting for others to pit.
"[But] the Monaco Grand Prix was bittersweet for me. Clearly, in terms of the points I picked up, it was not good enough – especially as we were in the right shape to fight for the win."
Alonso added that he didn't attempt to defend from Schumacher because the team had told him overtaking was not allowed at the final restart.
"At the end came the incident with Michael: the pit wall had told me that, as the race was still under the safety car on the last lap, overtaking was not allowed and so I was calm – and that was later confirmed by the stewards, who put things right," he added.