Ferrari buoyed by Massa's comeback and Alonso's podium
Another podium, the third of the season for Fernando Alonso and Scuderia Ferrari. The Spaniard finished the Grand Prix in third place while his team-mate Felipe Massa came home sixth. With this result, Fernando heads the Drivers’ classification, while Felipe moves up to fourteenth.
In the classification for Constructors, the Scuderia is now third, equal on points with Lotus. Both Ferrari men made a single pit stop, Fernando on lap 30 and Felipe on lap 31, switching from the Pirelli Supersofts used in the first stint to the Softs on which they ended the race. Fernando’s podium finish brings the Ferrari total at this race to 48.
Stefano Domenicali: “First of all, I want to say that all our thoughts are with everyone who is suffering as a result of the earthquake that hit the Emilia region last week: we hope that this strong race from Ferrari will have allowed them, just for a couple of hours, to forget their troubles at such a difficult time. We are with you, in thought and deed, because our roots are there, in the ground that has continued to shake there for the past eight days. As for the race, we leave the Principality with a very positive result and, above all, with Fernando Alonso leading the Drivers’ classification and Felipe Massa having delivered a brilliant and feisty performance all weekend long. Both our drivers did a great job, from the first to the last lap and the team behind them was a match for the situation. I am particularly happy for Felipe who needed a positive result: I’m sure this weekend really represents a fresh start to the season for him. We have to be satisfied, but we must definitely not relax, especially as we are not yet the best in terms of performance, particularly in qualifying. As I usually say after a good weekend, keep calm and carry on!”
Fernando Alonso: “I’m very happy with the way things have gone this weekend. We leave Monaco heading the Championship: if I’d been offered that after the Mugello test at the beginning of the month, I’d have signed for it there and then, but if I’d been told that after Melbourne, I would never have believed it! In Australia we started twelfth, then in the last two races we have jumped onto the podium and we are first in the classification. This result has to be further motivation to push even harder on the development of the F2012. We knew the start would be crucial. I got away very well and I almost got alongside Grosjean and Hamilton: the Frenchman and I touched and, for a moment, I was scared the car was damaged. On this track overtaking is almost impossible and being in someone’s slipstream causes temperature problems, both for the engine and the tyres. So, you cannot always be on the attack of those ahead, trying instead to manage the situation and push flat out only at the moments that count, such as the pit stops and that’s what I did. Could I have also got past Rosberg and Webber if I’d stayed out on track a bit longer? Maybe, but at that moment it was the right choice to make. I was definitely very quick with a clear track ahead of me. Towards the end, I was a bit worried about Vettel who was on the Supersoft, but luckily I could defend my position comfortably. Then I hoped the rain would come, because I think that could have given me a chance of winning, however, in the last five or six laps I thought it was over, partly because at every corner there might have been a surprise lying in wait. In Barcelona, a track with a lot of fast corners, we went well and this track is a law unto itself, so let’s see what the situation is in Canada, but certainly we hope to be able to confirm at this track too the progress we have seen at the last two Grands Prix. Finally, I dedicate this podium to all the victims and their families of the earthquake that hit the Emilia region last week.”
Felipe Massa: “It was a good race. I felt comfortable with the car right from the start of Thursday’s free practice. I had the right feeling and it was much easier to drive than at the previous races. Maybe it depends on the nature of the track or the set-up and we definitely need to analyse everything carefully to see what we can learn from this weekend. All things considered, I could have brought home a better result, but I am happy nevertheless. It was a very difficult race and very close and I was able to match the pace of the leaders. I am only sorry I was unable to do a few laps with a clear track ahead of me when the tyres were still competitive. The start was very good and also the tyre degradation, especially on the Soft compound was minimal. A driver always wants to do the maximum so I can’t be delighted with sixth place, however these are important points. I really hope my championship has turned around and that, from now on, I can always be in the fight for the top places, as was the case here in Monaco. Now we go to Montreal, which is a different type of track to this one, because you need a good top speed but, in fact it’s not that different in terms of the set-up required.”
Pat Fry: “A very intense race, which ended with one car on the podium and the other in the top six. There was not a moment’s respite, right from the start, with the top six all together in just a handful of seconds. We all started a bit blind in terms of how the tyres would behave, both as far as durability was concerned and how they would perform in the first laps of use. Furthermore, the rain was always lying in wait and appeared right in the final moments. Fernando and Felipe both drove impeccably, without making the slightest mistake, as was the case for the crew during the pit stops. As for the strategy, day after day, the option of the one stop became ever more clear and, in the end it was the best choice. Sure, with hindsight, it’s easy to say that if Fernando had stayed out on track for a few laps more, then maybe he could have also passed Rosberg and got on terms with Webber as well as Hamilton, given the time he did on his in-lap. I think this weather was a surprise for everyone, as was the difficulty encountered in getting the Softs up to temperature in their first laps. With just a few seconds to react, we took the most logical decision, which did all the same lead to a podium finish. It all goes to show how every detail is crucial in a championship as closely contested as this one. We need to continue pushing on the development of the car, because we are still not where we want to be in terms of performance.”
Source: Scuderia Ferrari