Fernando Alonso says he is not worried about being beaten to the podium in the Australian Grand Prix by Renault's Vitaly Petrov, because he does not see the Russian as a title contender.
Despite a difficult weekend in Melbourne, where Ferrari particularly struggled to get speed from the hard tire, Alonso salvaged fourth place with a three-stop strategy that left him within sight on Petrov. Although that meant for the second race in succession that Alonso has been frustrated at the end by Petrov, the Spaniard said that it was important to look at the big picture.
"For the journalists, it is a very interesting race having Petrov and me, but I was looking in the mirror because I had a title contender behind me, and I was happy to have [Mark] Webber behind me," said Alonso. "To finish fourth, I lost points with [Lewis] Hamilton today, I lost points with [Sebastian] Vettel, but the points with Petrov I am not so stressed."
With Ferrari having not shown enough pace to match Red Bull Racing and McLaren over the Australia weekend, Alonso reckoned that fourth was probably as much as he could have hoped for.
"I did a very good start today," he explained. "I was side by side with Button, and Petrov risked in the first corner to push Button to the outside. Button pushed me to the outside to avoid Petrov, but it was not a problem.
"It was just an unlucky situation which didn't change too much the race because it made the race more stressful, instead of starting fifth and finishing fourth I was tenth and I finished fourth. I just had to do some extra overtaking."