Turkish GP - A confidence boosting podium
First podium of the season for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, thanks to Fernando Alonso finishing third, ten seconds off the winner. Unfortunately, today was also the first no-score on the board, as Felipe Massa finished just outside the points in eleventh place at the end of a race that was compromised by various problems. The drivers’ positions in the championship remain unchanged – Fernando fifth and Felipe sixth – as does the Scuderia’s third place in the corresponding championship for Constructors.
“It’s been a very long time since we last saw one of our drivers on the podium and today, finally, we were able to. Fernando drove a very nice race, to crown a great weekend on his part: he did not put a foot wrong and was aggressive when he needed to be and prudent when he had to manage the situation. I am very sorry for Felipe, who had every possibility of also getting a good result.
We had already seen in the three previous races that, in the race, the 150º Italia seemed to be the more beautiful sister of the one seen on Saturday afternoon in qualifying, but for one reason or another, in the first three Grands Prix, we never managed to make the most of all its potential. Today we were competitive for long periods and if Fernando had not been stuck behind Rosberg for a few laps after the start, he could have even put Vettel under more pressure. We must definitely not get carried away with this third place: the road is still very long and there is still a very long way to go to where we want to be. At least we have shown that we have started off down the right road.”
“I am pleased with this result, which is down to three weeks of hard work from the entire team at Maranello and at the track this weekend. We had not started this Grand Prix on the right foot, after having quite a few problems on Friday, but then we moved forward and today it was great to be back fighting for the top places. We had come so close to the podium already in Malaysia and in China and today we managed to jump onto it, but this is only a first step: we must continue in this direction. Given the shape we were in at the start of this season, this is a great finish.
The next three or four races will be crucial. At 99% I could not have fought with Vettel, but the remaining 1% went when I was stuck behind Rosberg for too long: maybe I could have put him in difficulty, forcing him to push even more. In the end, Webber passed me because he had the benefit of a new set of tyres, while I had none left. I know it seems strange having to stop eleven laps from the finish, but it was getting hard to keep the car on track and there was a risk of ruining everything. There is more overtaking, but I think that has more to do with the different behaviour of the tyres rather than the moveable rear wing. It’s true that the gap in the classification is very wide, but there are still so many points up for grabs: there is certainly no need to give up.”
“Everything happened to me today and I was not able to get the result that was within my grasp. It’s a shame, because the car was competitive and the pace was very good. We did the first stop at the right time, but already at that moment, I lost the place I had just taken off Hamilton. Then I also had problems at the third and fourth pit stops: we have to all work together to improve this element of the race, which is becoming really very important. I was always fighting with other drivers, which meant I was unable to get the most out of the tyres, as Fernando was indeed able to do and he definitely had a cleaner race than mine. The positive thing about this weekend is the improvement in performance of the car: we had a bit more aerodynamic downforce and also greater speed on the straights. It’s an encouraging sign, but we have to continue moving in this direction, introducing new parts already in Barcelona.”
“Mixed emotions and feelings at the end of a very intense race, which featured a large number of pit stops. On the one hand there is the satisfaction of having a driver on the podium again and on the other, there is disappointment at not getting the result that was also within our grasp with Felipe, whose race was ruined by a series of problems during the pit stops. From a performance point of view, I would say we were competitive in some parts of the race, especially on the softer tyres.
Mixed emotions and feelings at the end of a very intense race
In the final duel with Webber, we paid the price for him having a new set of hard tyres while we only had ones that had already been used. Felipe was nearly always in traffic and was penalised through losing time in his pit stops: this operation is becoming ever more crucial and everyone involved has to be perfect in order to do it well. We will have to work on it, as well as continuing to push on the development of the car, because the gap to make up is very big, especially in qualifying.”
Weather: air 20/17 °C, track 30/31 °C; partially cloudy. Chassis: Alonso 288, Massa 289.