Ferrari: We can be contenders right to the end
10 June, 2013
Ferrari team and drivers report from the Canadian Grand Prix, Round 7 of the 2013 Formula 1 world championship, at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.
Today, we absolutely had to make up for the difficult day we had yesterday, because we knew the more normal weather would allow us to demonstrate our true potential. The podium was in our sights and we can claim to have hit the target, in a race that was complicated from start to finish by our grid positions. Fernando produced an absolutely extraordinary performance, especially when taking into account that today, our competitors operated at a really high level. Felipe also showed exactly what he could do: managing to bring home points after starting from the back was the best response to those who felt he was affected by the unfortunate incidents of the last few days. I must congratulate the winners, because even if it’s easier to get the job done when starting at the front, it’s also true that they managed to produce a perfect qualifying, a task which we know we must improve on. Today’s race demonstrated how two of our closest rivals, Red Bull and Mercedes, have managed to make a step forward and that’s the same direction we are working in, so that we can be contenders right to the end of the championship.
At the end of an extremely complicated weekend, this second place tastes like a win, because we were competitive and managed to fight with the front running drivers. You never feel in danger with them, because, even wheel to wheel at 320 kilometres per hour, they have the necessary intelligence and experience to know to leave a margin of safety. The overtaking moves on the two Mercedes had an almost identical dynamic, although maybe the pass on Hamilton was more intense because we were running at the same pace, while with Rosberg, I knew it was only a matter of the laps going by, thanks to the advantage of having the Medium tyres, while he was on the Supersoft. In terms of points this is a great result: now we only have Vettel ahead of us, who was untouchable here and deserved the victory. Even if he has increased his lead, there’s still a long way to go in the championship and there’s plenty of time to catch up. I don’t know if I could have done better if I’d started further up. Qualifying, even in the wet, is our weak point and an aspect we absolutely must improve on: we are working very hard on that, both back home and at the track.”
I am very happy with my race today, which was a real battle from start to finish. After going off the track yesterday, I knew it wouldn’t be easy starting from sixteenth place, but I also knew I had a good car and I tackled the race on the attack, managing to pull off several nice passing moves. However, because of a problem with graining, I lost precious time behind Sutil in the Force India: that’s why I think a strategy based on using two sets of Medium tyres would have seen me gain at least one or two places. Even if I can’t be satisfied with this result it was still a positive day, in which we showed we had a good pace and that we were able to fight. Now I’m looking ahead to the next race with a lot of confidence, because Silverstone is very similar to Shanghai and Barcelona, where our car worked very well.
The long straights and the DRS zones at the Montreal track, which usually help with overtaking, meant we were hopeful of being able to race up the order, while aware that starting from sixth and sixteenth would not make that an easy task, especially as the performance levels of the front runners were very similar today. Fernando got a great start and managed to pass Bottas, moving up to fifth. From then on, he did an amazing job of managing his tyres, pushing at the most opportune moments which brought him in touch with the leaders. The climb up to second place was a performance worthy of his talent, with some daring passing moves, like the one on Hamilton. Felipe fought hard all race long, also pulling off several overtaking moves, including a very important one on Raikkonen right at the end. Maybe if we had opted to fit Mediums at his first stop, Felipe could have gained another place. From the pit wall, we had to manage the race for both drivers in very different track conditions to what we experienced in the past couple of days and all in all, after all the difficulties we encountered yesterday, it was a good result. Now, our priority is still to improve our qualifying performance and on this front, we will try to do that right from the next race in Silverstone. (Ferrari)
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