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Fernando Alonso

Alonso overjoyed with podium: I've waited seven years for this!

Fernando Alonso was delighted to end his seven-year wait a podium in F1, as he finished third at the Qatar GP.

Alonso Qatar
To news overview © n365/michaelpotts

Fernando Alonso was overjoyed to bring his run of not finishing on the podium to an end at the Qatar Grand Prix.

Alonso held onto third place after Alpine opted to risk a one-stop strategy, despite numerous punctures for rivals during the race.

Red Bull's Sergio Perez looked set to finish third, but went for a two-stopper and was unable to overhaul Alonso in the closing stages of the Grand Prix.

"Seven years, but finally we got it," said Alonso. "We were close [in] a couple of races, but not [close] enough. Sochi was the last possibility.

"Today, honestly, I thought I could be leading after Lap 1. I thought with the Soft tyre I could go at Lewis [Hamilton], but I couldn't.

"Then with Checo it was very close at the end, so I'm so happy for the team."

"Alpine deserve it"

Alonso's last podium prior to Sunday came at the 2014 Hungarian GP. After that, he spent four years at McLaren and then took a sabbatical from F1.

The Spaniard returned to the sport this year, coming close to finishing on the podium in Budapest and Sochi, and said he and the team couldn't do much more on his way to third place at the Losail International Circuit.

"We planned a one-stop from the beginning, but never knew how bad the [tyre] wear would be," added Alonso.

"It was quite a well-executed race. The pit-stop was fantastic, the team was great, the reliability of the car was superb and they deserve it.

"I was waiting so long for this, so I'm happy!"

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F1 2021 Qatar Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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