After Canada a step up in quality is needed. Much work at Maranello to prepare for Valencia. Maranello, 14 June -- The regret for a victory that slipped away had not disappeared when the team awoke this morning. Those still in Montreal and those...
After Canada a step up in quality is needed. Much work at Maranello to prepare for Valencia.
Maranello, 14 June -- The regret for a victory that slipped away had not disappeared when the team awoke this morning. Those still in Montreal and those already back home in Italy all share the same feeling: that yesterday was a missed opportunity. At the same time, it is clear the championship is still very open, especially the fight for the Drivers' title. If Fernando had won yesterday, which was a possibility, he would be leading the classification.
Now however, there needs to be a step up in quality in terms of performance, so as to be competitive at every type of track, not just at those that suit the current configuration of the F10, as was the case in Bahrain, Monaco and Canada. With this in mind, at Maranello, the work is going on practically day and night to be as well prepared as possible for the Valencia race, an event that will be very important in terms of setting a course for the rest of the season. The European Grand Prix will see the debut of a significant update package and others will follow in immediately at the next races. From Valencia to the summer break, there are four races in six weeks and everything can still change.
Massa and Alonso both left Canada last night already and it's easy to imagine that neither man was in a particularly good mood. Felipe seems to have a jinx at this Grand Prix, given that in the last three of them he has never had a "normal" race. Yesterday, he could have good a good result given the pace he showed, but two collisions, neither of them his fault relegated him to almost the back of the pack. The penalty he got for speeding in the pit lane, even if it did not affect the final result, was a further blow. It was a different story for Fernando. His third podium with the Reds is cause for satisfaction as it reverses the trend of two races, Monaco and Turkey, where the points haul was decidedly meagre, but the regret at the win slipping away, mainly because of a few unlucky breaks, is still a strong one. The Spaniard is definitely not the sort to lose heart and the determination he showed in yesterday afternoon's team meeting after the race was the best assurance that he will fight to the bitter end to achieve the targets set at the start of the season.
The Montreal race threw up some other positive elements including the fact that in the eight races so far, the team's performance in the pit stops has always been very consistent, at the highest level and yesterday, that was clearly seen with Fernando getting the jump on Hamilton at the first stop. With the ban on race refuelling, the mechanics can no longer count on the time that used to be taken for putting the fuel in the tank to do the wheel changes and other possible eventualities -- yesterday for example, the nose on Felipe's car had to be changed twice -- and their performance can win or lose a place. The fact that the pit stop procedures have been at the highest level is down to the work of the team these past few months, both in terms of organisation of the procedure and the development of new solutions like the traffic lights, which are beginning to be copied down the pit lane.