Ferrari: This weekend ended with a result that can’t be seen as satisfactory
18 November, 2013
Team and drivers report from the United States Grand Prix, Round 18 of the 2013 Formula 1 World Championship, at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
Stefano Domenicali: “This weekend ended with a result that can’t be seen as satisfactory. The race lacked any major dramatic moments and the outcome was decided on the first lap. Once again, the qualifying result conditioned our performance and on this occasion, the regret is even stronger. The gap to fifth place yesterday was minimal and if we’d started from the clean side of the track, maybe we would have witnessed a different race. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out like that and now we must grit our teeth all the way to the end in Brazil, trying our best to maximize the car’s potential, because I expect the team to react in Interlagos. Today’s result rewards Fernando’s extraordinary consistency, second on three occasions in the last four years, a small reward up against the Red Bull steamroller. Thanks to his fifth place, the battle for second in the Constructors’ Championship is still open, even if we will have to keep an eye on Lotus, which although fourth, seems to be, to all intents and purposes, the second force in the Championship. Felipe couldn’t do any more today but I am sure that in Brazil he will be competitive again for what will be his last race in red and a very emotional weekend for the whole team”.
Fernando Alonso: “Finishing in the top five today is a very positive result when you consider how difficult this weekend has been and the fact I had to start from the dirty side of the track. We were well aware it would be very difficult to maintain position and in fact I lost it to Perez. In the first part of the race, we weren’t quick and we decided to save the tyres and then attack round the pit stop. We were more competitive on the Hards, we passed Perez and set off to get Hulkenberg, but even if our situation compared to Mercedes has improved, we were unable to beat them. I am very proud of this second place in the Drivers’ Championship, it’s a small reward for me, the same as being first of the “mortals” behind Red Bull. My back is okay, as I did a good warm-up before the race and it didn’t bother me. I feel more tired from all the tension of the race, but now I have three days to rest and arrive in Brazil feeling a hundred percent. We really must improve there, because our goal is still to finish second in the Constructor’s Championship”.
Felipe Massa “It’s been a really difficult weekend and I was struggling right from Friday, unable to get the tyres up to temperature or to run at a good pace. At the start, I didn’t make up any places and then for all the race I was stuck in traffic, on a track where overtaking is not that easy. We knew that making a second stop was not the best choice, but I already found myself in a difficult situation and so we decided to risk stopping for a set of Medium tyres: if anything had happened ahead of us, maybe a Safety Car, we might have profited from the situation. Unfortunately, nothing happened and the tyre wear of those ahead of me was very low, so I was behind them ending up in the same position from which I started. It’s a real shame because we could have done better. Now we must keep concentrated for the final round of the season in Brazil, my final race with Ferrari on my home track: it’s bound to be a very emotional weekend because of that. I hope I can be more competitive there and even if our rivals are very quick, we will do our best right to the very end.”
Pat Fry: “Once again we proved to be more competitive in the race, even if today’s result is not the best testimony to that. Those who started from the clean side of the track, like Hamilton, Perez and Bottas, managed to make up a few places. We on the other hand, aware of the difficulties of starting on the dirty side, opted in Fernando’s case on a strategy of staying out for a few extra laps: thanks to his talent, Fernando made up the place lost to the McLaren at the start and then took fifth place. With the hard tyre, he had a good pace and was able to attack Hulkenberg at the right moment and stay ahead, controlling the tyre wear. From thirteenth on the grid, Felipe managed to get away well, but he was then immediately stuck behind a Force India. From then on, his race was an uphill struggle and while trying a different strategy, in the hope that something might happen to those ahead of him, we didn’t manage to get him in the points. It’s a real shame having lost to Mercedes again, because today we could have been in the fight. We will definitely try again in Brazil.”