European GP: Day 1 Ferrari report

25 June, 2010

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F10. Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, European Grand Prix, Practice Day, Valencia Spain, Friday 25 June 2010.

Fernando Alonso

Jun.25 (Grand Prix 247) A very busy time for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro today at the Valencia street circuit. The focus for the team during the two free practice sessions was twofold: firstly looking at the usual work of defining the set-up for the car best suited to this track and the comparison between the two types of tyre available and secondly, an evaluation of the new technical updates introduced at this event. “I would say that our weekend has got off to a positive start, but it’s too early to draw any real conclusion,” commented Stefano Domenicali. “From what we saw today, we are on the pace on a track that has some similarities to the one in Montreal. Now we have to analyse all the data gathered over these three hours, to be as well prepared as possible for qualifying and especially for the race. As usual, a good grid position will be vital, especially so here on a track where overtaking is very difficult.”

Fernando Alonso: “Here, as in Montreal, our car seems to work well, even if it’s difficult to make a direct comparison, given that the track surface is very different and that one needs a bit more aerodynamic downforce. Together with Felipe, we worked on the development of new technical solutions, but it is hard to say how much we have improved compared to the others. The F10 has turned out to be easy to drive and competitive in every situation, both with low and high fuel loads, but it is too early to say where we are: this morning, the McLarens were very quick, the Red Bulls are always on front running pace and even Mercedes and Renault are very close. However, our only aim is to be ahead of everyone, otherwise we wouldn’t be Ferrari.”

Felipe Massa: “The track was very dirty, which makes it difficult to understand exactly how much the new parts which we used for the first time today have improved the performance of the car. I never managed to get a clean lap when I was on new tyres with low fuel and this explains my position on the time sheet. Nevertheless, I am pleased with the handling of my car. I think we have made a step forward in performance terms and that we should be competitive this weekend: I hope I can fight for a place on the top rows. The spin? I hit a kerb, spun and then I chose to brake to avoid hitting the wall: unfortunately the engine cut out and we now have to look into why the anti-stall did not work.”

Chris Dyer: “Today we had to carry out a very packed programme to test the various new technical updates that we have brought here for the first time. We had a few minor problems this morning with Fernando, which cost a bit of time, while in the afternoon it was Felipe who lost out on half an hour’s running time because of a spin. All the same, we were able to manage the situation and gathered all the data we wanted. We are reasonably pleased with what we have seen: at the moment there do not seem to be any reliability problems relating to the new configuration of the exhaust system and the F10 is pretty competitive. At this track, tyre behaviour seems more “normal” compared to Montreal: the hard ones are struggling to get up to temperature but improve lap after lap, while the softs are more consistent than they were in Canada.”


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