Fernando Alonso said his podium at the Japanese Grand Prix was important for Ferrari's morale after a difficult string of races.
Alonso's last podium came at the Italian Grand Prix two races ago, but Ferrari has not been on the pace of the front runners for some time. However, at Suzuka he was just 1.1s off race winner Jenson Button and ahead of both Red Bulls.
"It's a good thing for the team after some difficult races," he said. "We were not so competitive and we came back to a good level here and this podium means a lot to the team and motivation for the remaining races this year. For sure it will be good motivation for next year as well."
He said managing tyre degradation was crucial to the result.
"The strategy was quite important with a lot tyre degradation and we picked the right moment to stop," Alonso added. "We had the pace today to fight with McLaren and Red Bull and we had a fantastic podium."