Japanese GP: Ferrari race report

Another podium finish for Fernando Alonso, third in the Japanese Grand Prix, a result which sees him maintain second place in the championship standings. No points for Felipe Massa, who had to retire at the start of the opening lap after an...

Another podium finish for Fernando Alonso, third in the Japanese Grand Prix, a result which sees him maintain second place in the championship standings. No points for Felipe Massa, who had to retire at the start of the opening lap after an incident in which he made contact with Liuzzi. That was the outcome of a very busy Sunday for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, with qualifying and the race condensed into less than seven hours.

Stefano Domenicali: "First of all, I want once again to offer our condolences for the deaths of the soldiers yesterday in Afghanistan, which has affected us deeply. Then I want to praise the team, who worked in impeccable fashion on an unusual day, with qualifying and the race following one after the other. We knew that, at this track, Red Bull would be very strong and as we saw this morning, other teams also proved to be competitive. This third place is therefore a great result, in line with our game plan and it keeps us right in with a chance in the Drivers' championship. Unfortunately, the situation in the Constructors' took a knock because Felipe had to retire after the accident at the start. I am very disappointed for our driver, who despite a less than brilliant grid position had every chance of having a good race. There are three Grands Prix to go in this championship which is proving very hard to predict: it will be vital to concentrate all the time and give our utmost, day after day. As we have said for a while now, the maths can wait until Abu Dhabi on 14 November. Finally, I want to congratulate our customer teams, who brought home a further three Ferrari engines in the top ten."

Felipe Massa: "I think I was really cursed today! This morning in qualifying, because of traffic, I failed to get into Q3. This afternoon in the race, I didn't even manage to get through the first two corners. At the start, Rosberg, who was in front of me, got away poorly and at first I tried to move to the left, but Sutil was coming there. Then I moved to the right, but in so doing I found myself on the grass and the kerb. At that point the car took off on its own, I was unable to make it through the first corner and I ended up colliding with Liuzzi's Force India. It's a shame, because as Fernando showed, in the race our car had a good pace and I could have fought for a points finish. The main problem is still qualifying: again today I struggled, even if traffic played its part. In the race, the situation is better but we know how difficult it is to overtake. These past two races have been frustrating for me but we have seen many times this year how quickly the situation can change: I will be trying my very best in the remaining three Grand Prix."

Fernando Alonso: "All things considered this was a positive day for us. On a circuit that seemed purpose built to show off the strengths of the Red Bull, we managed to get on the podium, losing just three points to the championship leader. We had a bit of luck because Kubica's retirement meant a potentially very strong rival was out of the reckoning. I did not make an ideal start, partly because of a problem with the clutch, but then I soon made up a place over Button. In the first part, we ran a defensive race, trying to keep the McLarens at a distance, especially Jenson, who was on a very different strategy to ours. Then when we realised they were no longer a threat we tried to put the Red Bulls under a bit of pressure, but there was nothing to be done. Here they were perfect and when that happens they are really hard to beat. However, experience tells us that it is not always like this, or they would have already won the championship. So we must try and make the most of every opportunity. We are trying to improve the F10 with every passing race: here for example we had a new oil from Shell and other minor aerodynamic updates. We will have further new parts in the next few races: maybe not so big but put together they could give us a few tenths which is always useful. We come out of this weekend with our heads held high, knowing that we must try and beat Webber in the coming races to close down the gap to the top."

Chris Dyer: "A very tough day for the entire team, with qualifying and the race squeezed into just a few hours. The day did not get off to an easy start: Fernando did not get a perfect lap in qualifying and Felipe had problems that kept him from making it to Q3. At the start, we immediately lost Felipe and that is very disappointing as he could still have had a good race. Fernando drove a great race, obtaining the maximum we could have hoped for in a Grand Prix where we did not have the pace to beat the Red Bulls: he drove almost the entire time as if it was a qualifying session. We can claim to have limited the damage in the most effective way possible and now we hope to be more competitive in the coming races. From every point of view, the team worked very well -- car preparation, pit stops and strategy -- in what was definitely not an easy situation, so to all of them my heartfelt congratulations."

-source: ferrari

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Fernando Alonso , Felipe Massa
Teams Ferrari , McLaren , Force India