Alonso, having held fifth on the opening lap, dropped behind Felipe Massa at the post-Safety Car restart, and was unable to overhaul his opponent across the remainder of the race.
He then withstood huge pressure from the McLaren driver over the remainder of the race, eventually crossing the line less than half a second in front of the Spaniard as he picked up his best result since finishing sixth in Bahrain in April. I knew the re-start could be the only chance to overtake Alonso. I had a few lock ups in the first corner basically for no real reason but I was checking on Hamilton from the mirrors as it is hard to see when you are spread out and you can lose sight of them. The auto is showing great performance lately and I think that is coming from the chassis development.
Back in the paddock, Massa described his P7 finish as "like a victory". "I love you. By the way, I loved your start". I drove a ideal race from the beginning to the end, I managed the tyres, managed everything around the auto with the pace I had.
"The feeling that I had on the human side after the race last year - really, I never thought I would feel that, or I would have that in my career", the 36-year-old recalled on Thursday. I drove a flawless race from beginning to end, managed the tyres, managed everything around the auto, the pace I had.
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"I'm happy with P7 today, particularly because it was a hard qualifying", said Alonso.
Last year's race in Brazil saw Massa, in what was originally supposed to be his final home race, crash out at the half-way point before bidding farewell in a tear-filled walk down the pit lane. For me the race was like many victories that I took.
"Today was definitely like a victory and to finish the race and feel the emotion of the people after such an unbelievable race. It was a good end but I wanted more".
"That's quite a good direction that we took and in Australia next year we will be a completely different team and we are looking forward".