Alonso:  Vettel ‘on another planet’

Fernando Alonso conceded that race winner Sebastian Vettel was in a league of his own at the Australian Grand Prix, but said he was by no means writing off the title.

Alonso started from fifth on the grid, only to lose four positions in the first corner and spend the rest of the race slicing through the field on a three-stop strategy. He admitted that he would not have been able to match Vettel in any circumstances, but believes the Ferrari fared better than it did in qualifying on Saturday.

"Once again today, Vettel seemed to be on another planet, while the others were a bit closer, not to the extent they were on Friday, but at least not as far off as in qualifying yesterday," he said. "We are in the right zone for us to be able to win a title, but definitely not if we keep finishing third or fourth. We have to improve, we know that, but it's still too early to make any predictions."

Alonso finished behind Vitaly Petrov after closing on the Renault in the closing stages and jumping Mark Webber in the final set of pit stops.

"Finishing behind Petrov again like in Abu Dhabi? True, but it's a coincidence and then, at this stage it is more satisfying to have managed to keep Webber behind me, who I reckon will be a more serious rival in the title fight than the Russian."

After making a poor start he said the only option was to adopt a three-stop strategy, even though the top three made a two-stopper work.

"At the start there was a bit of confusion: I got away well, but then Button headed for me and I had to go wide to avoid a collision. The strategy was just right and it helped me to make up some places. Maybe if I hadn't ended up immediately in traffic, I could have tried to go for two stops but given how things went, we made the best decision."

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