Date: 23rd May 2011 at 12:00pm
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Fernando Alonso enjoyed probably the best start of anyone this season in the Spanish Grand Prix.

Starting the race from fourth on the grid, the Spaniard’s Ferrari launched itself into first position on the first corner, much to the delight of the Spanish crowd, who lets be honest, only really turn up to Catalunya to see their iconic two-time F1 World champion.

?The best bit of the race was obviously the start. We have worked so much on this area and you could see the outcome. It was fantastic to see the crowd cheering in the grandstands!’ Alonso told formula1.com.

For 20 laps Alonso looked as if he was comfortably keeping the charging Red Bull behind him, until pit strategy got Vettel past.

‘I tried to do the maximum, keeping the quickest ones behind me for around twenty laps, but after that, there was nothing I could do. It was very stressful having them filling my mirrors all the time and we tried as much as possible to copy or anticipate their moves. That meant doing over the half the race on the hards, which penalised us heavily and made the gap bigger than it is in reality. We lack aerodynamic downforce: here we did not have a wing that suited this track. We must analyse carefully the behaviour of all the modifications we brought to this Grand Prix and understand why, in the space of two weeks, we have lost ground to Red Bull and McLaren.’

The gap was alarming, for a driver that was leading the race up until lap 20 he amazingly finished a lap behind the leaders.

The difference was clearly the tyres, while Jenson Button could finish the race in third for McLaren on three tyre stops, Alonso needed four and could have even done a five stop-race to claim his fifth position.

But with back-to-back races, Alonso is already looking ahead to Monaco this weekend.

‘Now we head off to Monaco immediately for what is a special race on the calendar. Anything could happen there. Sure, we know the amount of downforce required at this track is the highest of the year, but that was also the case last year and we were competitive.’

Looking even further ahead, Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull may have won four of the opening five rounds of this seasons Formula One World championship, but that doesn’t mean the chasing pack have given up hope of catching the German.

Vettel already holds a 41 point lead over McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton who is second in the standings.

Vettel’s Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber is 51 points behind, while McLaren’s Jenson Button is 57 points behind.

With Alonso currently fifth a whopping 67 points behind, many would have expected Ferrari to throw in the towel, but apparently the drive for a third drivers title is still there for the Spaniard.

‘I am definitely not thinking of giving up on the championship after just five races: the gap in the classification is very big, but everything can still happen, I?m sure of it.?