Ferrari: We have picked up thirty very big points here at Silverstone
8 July, 2012
Jul.8 (Ferrari Press Release) At Silverstone, Scuderia Ferrari has secured its best overall result of the season, bringing home 30 points, thanks to a second place for Fernando Alonso and a fourth for Felipe Massa. For the Spaniard, today’s result is his fifth podium finish of the year, while for his Brazilian team-mate, it’s his best result of the season. After nine rounds of the championship, Fernando still leads the Drivers’ classification, while Felipe moves up to thirteenth place. The Scuderia makes up two places in the Constructors’ classification to go second. Ferrari now has no less than 51 podium finishes in this Grand Prix: 16 wins, 20 second places and 15 thirds.
Stefano Domenicali: “We have picked up thirty very big points here at Silverstone. Once again, Fernando drove a great race, for the umpteenth time this season and has gained points over the majority of his nearest rivals, but let me tell you that I am particularly happy with the display put on by Felipe, who was in the fight for pole yesterday and for the podium, right down to the last, today. It is a nice result for him, which is particularly important for us in terms of the Constructors’ championship, where thanks to the biggest points haul of the year, we have managed to move up to second place. We also did a good job in terms of the team, both when it came to strategy and how we managed the race on track. Obviously, when you lose the lead, just a few laps from the end of a race, there’s a hint of regret, at least in the heat of the moment, but then it dawns on you that this is a really important result for both championships. I am glad that the spectators were finally able to enjoy a dry day at the track and were able to witness a great show: here, one can feel that the passion for motor sport is really strong and it is always a pleasure for us to come and race in front of such enthusiastic and knowledgeable fans. We were at the same level as the team everyone reckons is currently the best and be sure, it definitely is. And we also held our own against some very strong competition from other rivals. Certainly, there is much more to do to improve the car, especially in terms of top speed, where we are still suffering. We now come to a pair of back to back races in Hockenheim and Budapest, for which we will try and improve our performance level still further: that will be our primary goal over the next few days.”
Fernando Alonso: “When you do almost the entire race in the lead and you are overtaken just a few laps from the finish, it does leave something of a bitter taste in the mouth, but after reflecting for a moment and looking at the classification, then the outcome of this Grand Prix seems very positive. We have continued working on the right road: four podiums in the last five races and the fifth just missed a few laps from the end, is a nice run of results which has allowed me to lead the Championship. This is an important moment in the season: it’s not at this time that you win the championship, but one can start to lose it here and we are pleased to have extended our advantage over the majority of our closest rivals. We must continue like this for the next two races, trying to always make it to the podium. Then, we must work a lot on our top speed, especially in view of circuits like Spa and Monza. We began the race on the tyres that were best for us, with the aim of pulling out as big a lead as possible over those behind, to then try and manage the situation in the final stint. We managed it with all but one of our opponents, which was actually rather predictable. In Valencia, we won on a weekend when the Red Bulls seemed uncatchable and here we fought with them right to the end. If you had told me back on Thursday that I’d be going home with 18 points to my name, I would have signed for that right away. However, the championship is still very open: Red Bull is very strong, but we definitely cannot rule out McLaren, because they had a really bad weekend here and on top of that, Lotus are always very fast. There is a lot to do, but as we have said several times, we are on the right road.”
Felipe Massa: “It was a good race and I am glad to have finally brought home a good result for me and for the team. Race after race, the situation has been improving and now we are capable of fighting for the podium: it might have happened here, but it could also have been possible in Montreal and Valencia, which means that today’s performance is not a fluke. It was not easy to make the right tyre choice for the start, because we did not have much data available: Fernando and I went down different routes, but I don’t think either one of us has anything to complain about. I got a good start and then there was long and close duel with Michael and I lost some time behind him: Vettel benefited from that, managing to get past me in the run of pit stops. Then, my pace was very similar to the Red Bull, so I could not get close enough to think about attacking. In the final stint, I concentrated mainly on defending my position against Kimi who was coming back at me very quickly: maybe if there had been a few more laps, he would have managed to get by. We must continue to push, as we have done over these past few months and then, I’m sure the results will come. Is it enough to confirm my place at Ferrari? I don’t see any reason why that could not happen if, as I said, the results come.”
Pat Fry: “A very close race, from the start to the chequered flag. With Fernando, we were fighting for the win and with Felipe for the podium all the way to the finish, confirming that our package – the team, drivers, car – was competitive at this track. After two days affected by rain, today the skies cleared, but that was not something one could have predicted with absolute certainty the day before the race. We did not have much of a reference point in terms of tyre behaviour, because we only had FP3 in which to assess performance, especially over a long run. That was partly why we opted to run different strategies with our two drivers and, all in all, we have no regrets, given how things went: clearly, on the Softs both Red Bulls were quicker than Fernando and we need to look at how we can improve our tyre performance in similar situations in the future. Fernando and Felipe both drove impeccably throughout the race, and the pit stop guys were faultless whenever the call came. This championship is very close and so it is vital to always bring home as many points as possible. I think today we achieved that goal and it is very significant that we have managed to make up no less than two places in the Constructors’ classification. We must continue to push on car development, because we are not yet the quickest: there is still much work to do to achieve this objective.”