Fernando Alonso believes he did not have the quickest car in the German Grand Prix, where the Spaniard secured his third win of the season.
Alonso started from pole, a position he secured in the wet on Saturday, and managed to keep his rivals at bay throughout the whole race despite intense pressure from both Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel. The Ferrari driver became the first man to win three races in the 2012 season, also extending his lead in the championship to 34 points over Mark Webber, who was eighth at Hockenheim.
Alonso admitted it had not been an easy day for him.
"It was tough, definitely. It was not an easy race, maybe we were not the quickest in the dry," said Alonso. "But we were quite competitive, enough to keep the lead. There were also some good calls by the team in terms of strategy. When Jenson pitted we had to react.
"After that I knew it was a long race, 27 laps to the end with Jenson putting on a lot of pressure. The car was feeling good on traction and top speed so it was enough to keep the lead into Turn 6. After that you can't pass so it was about controlling the tires."
The Spaniard said the tires performed as expected, despite the lack of dry running during the weekend.
"The tires were a question mark because we didn't test enough to know about them. The Pirellis were fine, we were thinking it would be two stops and it was two stops. When you are in the lead you just need to cover the others. The degradation was quite low, so not a lot of surprises with the tires."
Alonso, who won the race by less than four seconds from Vettel, is expecting next weekend's race in Hungary to be equally close, and he reckons perfect preparation will be crucial to be able to stay in the fight for victory.
"It's going to be tight. It's a short circuit and as we saw this year, in two or three tenths there are eight or nine cars. So we need to make a perfect preparation and a perfect qualifying, because you can be out of the top 10 if you miss a couple of tenths. We need to maximize what we have in Hungary and hopefully bring some new parts."