Third victory of the season for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, once again courtesy of Fernando Alonso, with Felipe Massa bringing home an absolutely brilliant third place. The drivers stood on the podium in the same positions from which they had left...
Third victory of the season for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, once again courtesy of Fernando Alonso, with Felipe Massa bringing home an absolutely brilliant third place. The drivers stood on the podium in the same positions from which they had left the starting grid, but in between there was plenty of excitement and a very close contest throughout the race. This is win number 213 from 807 Grand Prix participations for the Scuderia, the eighteenth in the Italian Grand Prix. For Fernando, it was win number twenty four in Formula 1, his second at the Monza circuit. Thanks to the 25 points he collected today, the Spaniard finds himself third in the Drivers' classification, 21 points down on the leader, while Felipe, making his fourth podium appearance this season, consolidates his sixth place. The Scuderia is still third in the Constructors' classification, 60 points off the leader.
Luca di Montezemolo: "This is a very special day for me, and one that involves contrasting and very strong emotions. There is the delight for such a great win, which I want to dedicate to all our fans. I am proud of what the Scuderia has done, both on the track this weekend and back in the factory: it is an extraordinary job. They delivered perfectly, proving to be the sort of people who never give up. For this, I wish to thank Stefano Domenicali and all his colleagues and the drivers -- Fernando was brilliant, taking pole yesterday and now the win today while Felipe got a very nice podium finish. But there is also the pain at the loss of a friend, Pietro Calabrese, a great journalist and a fan of ours, and so this victory is also dedicated to him."
Stefano Domenicali: "This victory was a team effort, which came at the end of a very busy week, which culminated this afternoon. It was fantastic to be on the podium, singing the national anthem along with all our fans: it's the sort of feeling that gives you goose bumps! It was an extremely close race from the first to the last lap, fighting against a very strong opponent. The win has come at just the right time and at the right place. It is the result of all the work from the Gestione Sportiva and our technical and commercial partners, first and foremost, Philip Morris, Santander and Shell, who always provide us with vital support. This season continues to throw up surprises: after the knock back in Spa, it might have looked as though we had had it, but we were not ready to think that way. We have always said we are not the sort to throw in the towel. Now the championship situation has opened up again, even if we are still up against very strong opposition. We will enjoy this victory for one night and from tomorrow morning we will be back at work, preparing down to the smallest detail for the next of these finals, namely the one in Singapore."
Fernando Alonso: "Winning at Monza at the wheel of a Ferrari is something special, which can only stand comparison to when I won in front of my home crowd in Barcelona in 2006. Being on the podium was an incredible feeling: what a sea of people, so many flags! I was stunned by the emotion from the fans, right from the first moment they got here on Thursday. I wish to dedicate this victory to them and to the passion that characterises all Ferrari fans. I got a reasonably good start, but Jenson's was definitely better and more effective. I tried to attack him at the first corner but I did not manage it and there were some very exciting moments, when I collided with him and with Felipe. I was worried there might be some damage, but fortunately everything was fine. I could always keep up with Jenson: we were working out what might be the best strategy, then he pitted and it was obvious then that I should do one more lap. The pit stop was super: we gained the tenths that made the difference. Today, it was the mechanics who won the race and they produced a real miracle. The whole team was fantastic as was the car. Now we have updates coming for Singapore, but it will not be easy to continue to improve, because we also need to start thinking about 2011. We have to stay focussed and do our best. We cannot allow ourselves the slightest mistake, because we are still behind, but we have definitely taken a good step forward today."
Felipe Massa: "It was a great day for the team, with a super result in our home race. I got a good start and maybe I might have made up a place, but I did not have good traction coming out of the second corner. Then I felt a knock and it was Hamilton who had hit into the side of my car: fortunately no damage was done. All race long the car worked very well and I was always competitive. The pit stop was not perfect and maybe the time lost there cost me second place. All the same, it was really nice to be on the podium: seeing all the people underneath it was incredible, with the whole straight packed with fans. It was a special feeling, especially as I feel I am part Italian. I am happy for the team and for our home crowd. Now there is much work ahead of us to prepare for the coming races, starting with Singapore. It won't be easy, but we are up for it. Personally, I will continue to fight for the wins and for the good of the team."
Chris Dyer: "A fantastic result for the team. We had a difficult weekend, a fortnight ago in Belgium, but after that everyone put in 110% effort to make up for it and be as well prepared as possible for this race. Everyone gave their all, on the track and at home over the past three days, starting with the drivers. It was not easy, as we had to adopt choices that were far from obvious, especially in terms of aerodynamic downforce and the set-up of the car. Then yesterday, Fernando produced a masterpiece in qualifying, which put us in the best possible shape to go after the win. There was a tense moment at the start and on the opening lap, but after that, we knew we had to wait and stop after our rivals to make up ground. We did just that, thanks to a combination of a perfect lap from Fernando and the fact the mechanics did an exceptional job in the pit stop. Felipe also drove a great race and it was nice to see both our drivers on the podium here in Monza. We know that if we can manage a perfect performance in the next five races, then we have a chance of winning."