“Today the car was really working really well and I felt confident driving,” he said. “I had the trust in the car – because obviously in these conditions you need that level of trust in how much you push.
“The car was fast in the dry, fast in inters and probably our most competitive part was at the beginning of the race when it was just a few drops of rain but we were still on the slick tire.
“It was one of those Sundays where you feel connected with the car, you feel in sync with the car and everything you do the car is just answering perfectly well.”
The red flag triggered by the sudden downpour and a crash at Turn 1 for Guanyu Zhou cancelled out Verstappen’s huge advantage at the front of the field, giving Alonso five laps to try and put an end to the Red Bull driver’s dominant run once the action eventually resumed.
The two-time F1 champion concedes that he was tempted to try a bold lunge into the first turn at the restart – however, he didn’t want to risk throwing away a substantial points haul.
“I was thinking about trying, so I was not conservative, let’s say. I thought about what to do a lot in the red flag period, so I thought what the possibilities would be,” he explained.
“Obviously the move into Turn 3 was something that was in my head, also into Turn 1. I discussed it with the team as well, that was my feeling – that I wanted to try today – but obviously I didn’t want to compromise any big points for the team because second was very important as well.
“But they were happy with me trying, I think they have trust in me as well whatever I decided. So on the restart I tried in Turn 14 launching the lap, trying to be flat in the banking with the cold tires – which is a little bit risky – and tried to be side-by-side at least into Turn 1, but I was not that close.
“After that I tried some different lines, inside, outside, the opposite of Max for the first lap in case one of the lines was very grippy – or much grippier than his – and it was close but not enough.”
Alonso’s drive saw him voted Driver of the Day, with the Spaniard also extending his advantage over Lewis Hamilton to 12 points in the battle for third place in the Drivers’ Standings.
Meanwhile, Aston Martin narrowed the gap to Mercedes in the Constructors’ Championship, while also extending its buffer to Ferrari behind.