Ten points was the meagre tally for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro on the day of its eighth hundredth Formula 1 Grand Prix. Felipe Massa finished the race in seventh place, just ahead of his team-mate Fernando Alonso.
Having started from eighth on the grid, Felipe stayed in this position almost throughout, until he inherited one place thanks to the misfortune of others. Fernando maintained his twelfth place at the end of the first lap and made up a few in the run of pit stops. Then, he was right behind Petrov for much of the race, attacking on lap 54 thus taking eighth place. After this race, the Spanish driver is fourth in the Drivers’ classification, while his team-mate is sixth. The Scuderia is third in the Constructors’ championship.
Stefano Domenicali: “This was definitely a very poor weekend for us and it’s a shame we were unable to celebrate our 800th Grand Prix in a worthy manner. We did not have the performance level we expected and we were definitely inferior to the two teams which dominated the Turkish weekend. We are at the level of the second group of drivers; those who were fighting throughout the Grand Prix, all within a few seconds of one another. But we know what an influence qualifying has on the final result and yesterday we struggled even more than usual in this area. This afternoon, we did what we could: Felipe didn’t make any mistakes and Fernando managed to make up a few places with the pit stop and by passing Petrov. Now we must make a step forward to close the performance gap: our engineers are capable and ready, as they have shown so often and I am sure they will be able to do it again, improving the performance of the F10. We are entering the crucial phase of the championship and we have to do everything to tackle it in the best possible shape.”
Felipe Massa: “It was a very boring race for me, from start to finish, but it was also very difficult. I was always stuck behind Kubica and the two Mercedes, who were running at a similar pace to me. Very often I managed to get close, but I never had a real chance of overtaking Robert. I knew that, starting from eighth, it would be tough and so it proved. Now we must stay calm and try and quickly improve the car, starting with the very next race in Canada. Here we lacked performance, especially in the fast corners. The rain? The few drops that fell in the final laps had no affect on my driving.”
Fernando Alonso: “It was a case of damage limitation in what was a very difficult weekend for us. Our aim in this championship is to fight with McLaren and Red Bull for the podium, definitely not with a Renault for eighth place, with all due respect to my former team. We have to improve our performance: in Valencia we will have an important update on the car, which we hope will put us back to where we should be. I am convinced that right from Canada things will be better, because the track characteristics should better suit our car. The hierarchy in the field can change from race to race, as we saw in Monaco, where we had the potential to fight for victory. At the end, I attacked Petrov and I hope the two points this brought me could turn out to be useful come the end of the year: I am sorry he got a puncture that stopped him finishing in the points, because he drove a good race. Despite everything, we are still in a good position to fight for the title. However, now is the time to react.”
Chris Dyer: “Given the position of our two cars on the starting grid, this is an acceptable result. What is not however, is our performance level this weekend, given that it definitely did not match our expectations. Felipe was always in traffic and never had a chance to overtake those immediately ahead of him. Fernando drove a good race, making up a few places thanks to the strategy and pulling off a nice passing move on Petrov at the end. When he made contact with the Russian driver’s Renault, he also damaged a wheel rim, but luckily he was able to finish the race and take points that are definitely valuable on a weekend like this.”