Fernando Alonso has no regrets on Ferrari's one-stop strategy

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso insisted he had no regrets about the strategy decision that saw him drop from first to fifth in the closing laps in Canada.

Alonso made only one stop to race-winner Lewis Hamilton's two. He was leading the race with 20 laps to go, but lost ground as his tyres wore out.

"I'm proud of the team, I'm happy with the decision," Alonso said.

"We went for victory. We put a coin in the air and waited to see the result. It didn't work but at least we tried."

McLaren believed Alonso had a chance to pit for a second time and still come out ahead of Hamilton, but the Spaniard denied that he could have won if he had also employed a two-stop strategy.

"No," he said. "Lewis was quicker than us all race through. If we'd stopped at the same time as Lewis we would have finished second, which in hindsight would obviously have been better.

"We finished fifth - we tried and after the race it's easy but at that point we were 50-50.

"We cover [Red Bull's Sebastian] Vettel or Hamilton. We did Vettel and it didn't work."

Alonso's fifth place meant he lost the championship lead to Hamilton, who now leads him by two points, with Vettel a further point behind.

But Alonso said he was encouraged by the progress Ferrari had shown in Canada following the introduction of revised rear bodywork and other changes.

"The car was competitive practically all race long," he said.

"It wasn't the quickest because here the McLaren, as was expected, was very quick, but definitely we have made a step forward in terms of performance."

He added: "For the first time this year [apart from his victory in the wet race in Malaysia], we have not just been trying to limit the damage, in that we were actually aiming for the win.

"It's a positive sign and now we must confirm it at Valencia and Silverstone [the next two races].

"We are definitely returning home with more confidence in our chances, because this was the most significant step forward we have made in terms of car development for a long time."

Vettel led the race from pole position for the first stint and then tailed Hamilton and Alonso after the first stops. He admitted that Red Bull had made a mistake in not mirroring Hamilton's two-stop strategy.

The German did eventually stop for fresh tyres with seven laps to go - and passed Alonso for fourth on the penultimate lap.

"We could have [mirrored Hamilton]," he said, "but now it's easy to say that.

"Lewis went for the second stop, we tried then to get the place back by going for one stop same as Ferrari. But it turned out to be the wrong call.

"The plan was one stop. When Lewis came in, I had a good feeling with the tyres at the time, and we said: 'We try to make the tyres work'; in the end it was the wrong decision

"We decided in the end to come in again which was a good call and a great call at the time, given what you can lose with seven laps to go.

"It was an interesting race again, another winner. Lewis deserved to win, we have to learn the lesson [and] take it on board, don't do it again and make a step forward in Valencia."