Fernando Alonso put on a brave face after losing six points of his championship lead to Michael Schumacher on Sunday.
Admitting that his Michelin tyres blistered in the first stint, the Spaniard – who turned 25 on Saturday – said shortly after the chequered flag at Hockenheim: ”It is clear that our opponents have taken a step forward.
”We have not been as competitive as we wanted to be in the last few races, but it could already be a different story next weekend.”
Schumacher’s home victory, however, is significant, as it has put a stop to the scenario where Alonso can simply coast his Renault to second place in each of the last six races and still emerge with the title.
Meanwhile, Kimi Raikkonen admitted that a McLaren blunder led to his pole on Saturday.
”We didn’t get as much fuel on board as we wanted (in qualifying),” the Finn – who stopped after just ten laps of the grand prix – explained.
”We are still off Ferrari’s pace.”
F1 now moves directly from Germany to Budapest, where the Hungarian grand prix will be staged in just seven days.