Defending world champ Sebastian Vettel won his second successive Singapore Grand Prix after he inherited the lead following Lewis Hamilton’s retirement.
The win was Vettel’s second of the year — his first since Bahrain in April — and the 23rd of his career.
While Jenson Button was third in the sole remaining McLaren, Alonso held on to pip Scotland’s Paul di Resta for third and in doing so increased his lead in the world championship to 29.
Vettel though, whose win moved him to second in the world championship battle, admitted Hamilton was ultimately faster than his own Red Bull.
“We didn’t have the fastest package this weekend but we still won so I am very happy,” Vettel, who closed 10 points closer to Alonso with his win, said.
“We have to improve. There is still a little bit we need to gain and at the moment McLaren is probably the fastest car and the Ferrari is a bit of an all-rounder, it is always there.
“It looks better than before. Fernando finished third and it’s 10 points better than before. There are a lot of races left, and it’s difficult to predict what is going to happen. We have to make sure we finish the races.”
And Alonso conceded his third place was of little comfort as h too conceded his Ferrari wasn’t fast enough.
“This year is a bit difficult to predict, but we need to improve the performance we saw here,” Alonso said.
“Positions five and 13 on the grid for our cars is not what we are hoping for. We need to be in a better position at Suzuka.
“When we are not quick enough, to get points over three of our opponents was good.”
Hamilton meanwhile explained he was ‘cruising’ to victory before he was forced to retire his McLaren with gearbox failure.
“It’s heartbreaking not to have finished the race today,” said Hamilton. “We definitely had the pace to win this weekend. In fact, before I retired, I was cruising; just managing the gap back to Seb.
“Then I started to experience difficulty with the gearshift, then I lost third gear, and then the ‘box kept dropping into neutral.”
Hamilton is now 52 points behind championship leader Alonso with six races to go.