Yet another podium for Alonso
For the second consecutive time, Scuderia Ferrari comes away from a race weekend with the biggest points haul: it picked up 35 in England and 28 today, courtesy of a second place for Fernando Alonso and a fifth for Felipe Massa. After ten races, Fernando is fourth in the Drivers’ classification and Felipe is sixth. The team has consolidated its third place in the Constructors’ Championship.
After a second place like this, it’s easy to say that it could have been better, but I am pleased nevertheless. We must improve in qualifying, because we have a very strong race pace and I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. Everything went well today: the start, the pit stops and the strategy. We still lack something on Saturdays, because yesterday we were three or four tenths away, but I am confident we can also improve on this front. Today, Hamilton was quicker and so well done to him and his team: when I was behind him I was pushing as hard as I could, but I could not get very close.
Even though I came out ahead of him at the second pit stop, I had absolutely no grip and he managed to pass me round the outside: immediately he then built up a few seconds lead. Today, we were clearly superior to the Red Bulls in terms of performance and this is important, given where we were at the start of the championship. That does not mean it will be the same in the coming races, but the situation is getting back to normal.
The classification? I’m not looking, but if there’s a chance, it depends on always finishing on the podium hoping that Vettel does not do the same. Why did I park the car at the side of the track at the end? The team asked me to cut the engine as a precaution and luckily Mark was alongside me and stopped to give me a lift. I don’t know how he knew I was shutting off the engine; maybe he has a radio link to my engineer!”
“It was a good race, in which I went head to head with Vettel for many laps. A shame about the time lost at the start behind Rosberg: the Mercedes is one of the hardest cars to overtake because it is very quick on the straights. The DRS was not a big help here, to such an extent that I passed him and Vettel under braking for Turn 1 where you cannot use the moveable wing. Sure, I would have preferred to have stayed ahead of the World Champion right to the end, but at the final pit stop there was a problem with the wheel nut on the left rear which cost me a few seconds: these things happen and recrimination achieves nothing. I got away well at the start, but then Vettel closed the line on the inside and I tried to go round the outside, because there was nowhere else to go if I wanted to make up some places. In fact I actually lost one to Rosberg. Now we go to Budapest: we will have the softest tyres there and, let’s hope some more summer-like weather, which should help. We must continue down this road and we will get some satisfaction from it I am sure.”
I am sorry for Felipe, who lost a place at the very last pit stop
“A positive team result at the end of a great race, which was very exciting and in which both our drivers delivered a very good performance. The weather was the worst it could be for us and to have been in the fight for the win right to the end of the race is significant. We are working in the right direction and we have to continue like this, while realising we have to raise our performance level still further.
I am sorry for Felipe, who lost a place at the very last pit stop: these things happen as we have seen so often this year down the length of the pit lane. Now, there are just a few hours to pause for breath before immediately turning our attention to the next round in Budapest, where we would like to confirm all the progress we have seen to date, while remaining well aware that we are up some very strong opposition. It’s not by chance that Fernando has scored more points in the last three races than any other driver and the team has done best in the last two. It means we are pushing as hard as possible and we believe in what we are doing, without ever giving up in our efforts.”
Our race pace was very good, but we must consider that today, even with the DRS, overtaking was very difficult
“I think it was clear to see that even on a track like this one and with the worst possible weather for us, we confirmed the progress first seen in the races immediately preceding this one. We knew that, with the cold, and it definitely was cold today, we struggled a bit more than the others to get our tyres up to temperature, with both the Prime and the Option, as could also be seen yesterday in qualifying.
Our race pace was very good, but we must consider that today, even with the DRS, overtaking was very difficult: it’s not by chance that it was actually easier to overtake at the first corner than in the zone where you could use the moveable wing. We must make a further step forward, but it’s a fact that the top three teams are much closer now than at the start of the season. Fernando and Felipe both drove great races.
The Brazilian lost time at the start behind a Mercedes, which are very quick in a straight line and then he lost a well deserved fourth place at the final pit stop. A shame, but we know we must work a lot on certain aspects of the car like the wheel nut, which has given us problems this season. In Budapest, we can expect a tough race, but we will tackle it in the same spirit that has marked these last few weekends at the race track: we want to fight for the top places.”