MONTMELO, Spain (AP) — It turned out Fernando Alonso was right to tell his local fans that he had little chance to repeat as winner at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Alonso started Sunday's race from seventh and only moved up one spot through 66 laps, and that at the expense of struggling Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen.
Alonso had earned a promising third-place finish at the previous China GP just before Marco Mattiacci arrived to replace team boss Stefano Domenicali following his resignation.
But as Alonso had warned, he finished almost 1 ½ minutes behind race winner Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes at the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit.
"Of course I'd have liked to have done better here in my home race, but I knew right from the start that it would be difficult," Alonso said. "Our pace was too slow compared to the leaders and, on top of that, not making up any places at the start didn't help. The gap to the best is nothing new and today's result confirms the fact our rivals are strong on both the performance and the reliability fronts."
The once proud Italian team has now gone longer than a year without winning a grand prix, its longest dry spell in nearly two decades.
Raikkonen fared even worse than Alonso, being lapped by Hamilton and fellow Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg on the last lap as they cruised to a fourth straight one-two finish and increased their dominance of the season.
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