Barcelona Day 1: Ferrari review

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F10. Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Barcelona, Spain, Friday 7 May 2010.

Fernando Alonso

May.7 (YF1) It was a very busy day for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro. There were many new components to be tested by Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso, including the new management system for the blown rear wing, as well as the usual comparison of the two types of tyre brought here by Bridgestone for this Grand Prix.

The overall outcome was positive: the programme was completed and now it falls to the engineers to draw the conclusions and define the configuration and set-up for the F10 for the rest of the weekend. There was also something really new on both cars: the logo of the committee organising the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of a United Italy.

“It is an honour for us to have on our cars this logo which marks such an important date for the Italian people and for our country,” commented Stefano Domenicali. “We wanted to honour this event on behalf of the whole company. Back to the daily work on the race track, we can claim to be reasonably satisfied with what we saw today. It is always difficult to draw conclusions after the first two free practice sessions, but I think we can be in the hunt in both qualifying and the race.”

Fernando Alonso: “It’s always nice to race in Barcelona, in front of so many fans, even on a Friday morning: it is definitely a source of extra motivation for me to do well. We worked with different fuel loads, both for qualifying and the race. We are reasonably happy with how things went and with the performance of the updates we tried on track, but we will have to wait until tomorrow to really understand where we stand compared to the other leading teams. As for the new rear wing, we will decide this evening whether or not to also use it in qualifying and the race: the system worked well but obviously, despite the fact we have tested it on various occasions, we still lack a bit of experience before we can get the best out of it.”

Felipe Massa: “The updates we brought here have definitely allowed us to make a step forward in terms of performance, but other teams haven’t been sitting around twiddling their thumbs. We still have work to do to find the ideal balance on the car, because today it was not as good as on the last two days of the test we did here last February. Probably the track conditions are very different to what they were then, as is always the case on the first day’s running, but clearly we have to study the data carefully to understand which direction to go in, in terms of setting up the car.”

Chris Dyer: “We are very happy with the work we did today. We had a very complicated programme to run, with many new technical elements to test, both for this race and for the more long-term future. We managed it, which means we now have a lot of data to analyse. On top of that, we also worked through the usual preparation of the cars for qualifying and the race, including the comparison between the two types of tyre available. From what we have seen, we can expect the usual very close battle, both in qualifying and the race.”