Fernando Alonso: "Here in Hockenheim, we made a small step forward and even if that didn’t translate into lap time, it encourages us to keep trying to improve."
Hockenheim – Mixed fortunes for Scuderia Ferrari in the German Grand Prix: Fernando Alonso fought tooth and nail all race long, to finish a strong fifth. Kimi Raikkonen went well in the first stint, but then slipped down the order in the second to finish outside the points.
The Safety Car came out immediately after the start after Magnussen and Massa collided, with the Brazilian’s car tipping over. Alonso therefore moved up to fourth on the opening lap, while Kimi also got away well to go eighth.
The first pit stops mixed up the order: while the top ten had to start on Supersofts, Kimi was on the Soft and thus running longer, so when Fernando and Vettel found themselves behind the Finn and, as they went either side of him, they bounced off one another, Kimi sustaining front wing damage.
Alonso and Vettel kept close company up to two thirds distance. Vettel then made an early final stop to get the edge over the Ferrari man, who then had a thrilling 3 lap duel with Ricciardo in the other Red Bull, the Australian twice passing the Spaniard, but Fernando eventually made it stick. After a difficult middle stint, Kimi was unable to climb back into the points. Championship leader Nico Rosberg won for the fourth time this year for Mercedes. Second was Valtteri Bottas in the Williams ahead of Lewis Hamilton who went from 20th to third. Next Sunday it’s time for the Hungarian GP on the outskirts of Budapest.
Marco Mattiacci: “This was a very hard fought race for both the drivers and the team, which confirms the great effort put in by everyone on a weekend that never had a moment’s breathing space and in which we did our utmost. Fernando produced another fantastic performance, while we saw encouraging signs from Kimi, which unfortunately did not translate into concrete results. We know the weak points of our car and at every race we are looking for improvements that can also be useful for the new project which is beginning to take shape. Now attention turns to the next round in Hungary. It will be another demanding race, but at the same time another opportunity to improve.”
Fernando Alonso: “We did what we could today and even if as always, we were aiming for a podium finish, the cars ahead of us were just too quick. It was a good race, even if it was very complex, as we decided to change from a two to a three-stop strategy. It was not easy fighting while also keeping an eye on consumption and in the end, with the help of newer tyres, getting ahead of Ricciardo meant we finished in the highest position that we were capable of. Here in Hockenheim, we made a small step forward and even if that didn’t translate into lap time, it encourages us to keep trying to improve. The aim is still to score points to help the team in the Constructors’ Championship. So now our thoughts turn to Budapest. We will only find out how things will go once we are there, because every circuit is a story in itself.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “It’s a real shame the way my race went, because this weekend, I felt more comfortable and today, on fresh tyres, I was going well. Unfortunately, twice I found myself squeezed between two cars and on both occasions my front wing got damaged and that compromised my race. Tyre performance dropped more than expected and I had graining on the front left and was losing aerodynamic downforce. On the positive side, I was able to drive the way I like today. I am sure that, but for these problems, things would have worked out differently and I would have been able to finish in the points.”
Pat Fry: “It was a very tight race and with both cars, we pushed to the limit trying to make up places. Because of the accident at the start, we made up three places and both Fernando and Kimi drove very aggressively with a lot of spectacular overtaking moves. Behind the scenes, managing all the parameters of the two cars gave us a lot to do, from monitoring traffic, to the choices relating to the pit stops and fuel consumption. Unfortunately, with Kimi it was all more complicated, partly affected by a couple of collisions that damaged his front wing and affected tyre behaviour. In his second stint, we lost a few seconds because of graining, seconds which unfortunately, cost us a points finish. Fernando managed his race very well and thanks to his final move on Ricciardo, he brought home points that are important for the Constructors’ Championship. In a few days, we will be back on track in Hungary, a circuit where aerodynamic downforce plays a significant role and where we will try and get the most out of our package.”