Another podium for Alonso and Ferrari. Massa sixth in an action packed race
Another podium, the sixth of the season for Fernando Alonso and Scuderia Ferrari and another points finish for Felipe Massa, his eighth of 2011.
The result does not change the positions in either championship (Fernando fourth and Felipe sixth in the Drivers’ and the Scuderia third in the Constructors’.) And confirming the positive trend, the Spaniard is still the driver to have picked up the most points of all drivers over the past four races.
“Another podium finish, the fourth in a row: we have been competitive on four tracks with different characteristics and certainly this July, in weather that definitely does not suit our car. So that gives me confidence for the rest of the championship, even if now I can’t wait to pause for breath. It has been a very busy and stressful July and I think that everyone, especially the team members, deserve a couple of weeks holiday. When we start again, let’s hope we finally get some warm weather, even though that cannot be taken for granted at Spa. I got away well at the start but then, at the first corner, I had some difficulty in terms of traction and Michael managed to pass me.
After that, various incidents in the early stages cost me valuable time behind the Mercedes and then Webber. At that moment, we decided to pit early and switch to a four stop strategy: the plan worked out and that was how we made it to the podium. Sure, even the others had some difficult moments but we did a good job of staying on track with the dry tyres when it began to rain again. At that moment, we were not very fast on the Super Soft, but we did not panic and then we switched to the Soft. It was a very interesting and exciting race and I want to congratulate Jenson, who celebrated his two hundredth Formula 1 race in the best way possible.”
“It was a difficult race with the rain coming and going. My afternoon was ruined when I went off the track on lap 8. The back end of the car hit the barriers and I was scared the car might be too damaged to continue, but my engineer told me I could keep going. I lost so much time because of that and even if I made some nice passing moves and moved up the order, I am still annoyed at not having been able to fight for a podium finish as I probably could have done.
When it began to rain after lap 40 – but also at the start – the conditions were very difficult: you had to absolutely avoid the white lines because they were extremely slippery and it was like driving on ice. Now we have a bit of a holiday: I will head back to Brazil to be with my family and I always enjoy spending time in my country. I am sure that when I come back to Europe, it will mark the start of a second part of the championship, a better one than the first.”
“All things considered, we can be reasonably pleased with the way things went. Certainly, going into the race, maybe we had hoped to get a little bit more out of it, but this seems to be the wettest July in the history of Formula 1! I don’t know if that is really the case, but it’s a fact that the last three races have all been run in the conditions that suit us the least. Having said that, the race was marked by incidents which, for better or for worse, made the difference.
We can be reasonably pleased with the way things went
Therefore having managed to get to the podium in these circumstances is still positive and we can consider that our glass is half full. I am confident in the belief that, after the summer break, we will have every chance of getting some nice results. The championship would be very open without Vettel, but we will continue to fight for the title until it is mathematically impossible. Now we will push on as hard as we can next week, before the summer shut down, to be as well prepared as possible for the Belgian Grand Prix.”
“It was an incident packed race, run in weather conditions that definitely did not suit us. We lost the chance of fighting for the top slots, losing time in the first part of the race, but then, thanks to an aggressive strategy – four stops for Fernando and the same for Felipe – we managed to make up some places.
We were reasonably competitive, as can be seen by the fact Felipe set the fastest race lap
Of course, we also profited from the problems of others, but that’s racing. As for the pit stops, at Fernando’s first one, we had to keep him on his spot because a Mercedes was coming and we could not risk a dangerous manoeuvre. In another couple of moments we also lost a few tenths compared to the optimum standard, but these glitches did not cost us anything in terms of position.
It’s an area in which we can and we must continue to improve, as indeed we should in terms of the car’s performance. Here, we were reasonably competitive, as can be seen by the fact Felipe set the fastest race lap, but we need to make another step forward, especially in the slower corners. Qualifying performance also needs to get better because starting from the second or third rows definitely means you struggle more in the race. Now we must prepare for Belgium and for Monza, two races at different types of track, where we will bring some new aerodynamic components. The others will do the same, so we will see who has done the best job.”