Canadian GP: Ferrari race report

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso leads Jenson Button

Jun.13 (Grand Prix 247) One driver on the podium, the other out of the points: this was the outcome of the Canadian Grand Prix for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, with Fernando Alonso third and Felipe Massa fifteenth. Fernando was in the fight for the win throughout the race and could have got an even better result if it was not for a few backmarkers. Felipe saw his race ruined right from the start, through a collision with Liuzzi’s Force India, which meant he had to pit on the opening lap: a strong climb up the order, which had brought him into the points was in the end frustrated by another collision, this time with Schumacher’s Mercedes, which involved another pit stop for a second nose change. After the first eight races of the season, Fernando is still fourth in the Drivers’ classification, while Felipe is now eighth: the Scuderia has consolidated its third place in the Constructors’ championship.

Stefano Domenicali: “This result is very regrettable as it does not match up to the potential we had shown this weekend. Fernando, who drove a great race, could have won, but a few incidents did not work in his favour: these things can happen in racing, but that does not make it any less disappointing. Felipe seems to be particularly unlucky here in Montreal, given that something always happens : it doesn’t happen often that a driver has to change his nose twice because of incidents that were not his fault. A shame, as he too showed the car’s potential. Indeed, that is the most comforting aspect of this weekend in that we are back fighting for the top places. The fact we came here with a car virtually identical to the one we had in Turkey where we were definitely not competitive, is cause for thought: it only takes a few elements – circuit characteristics, tyres – to change the picture. Now we must push as hard as possible on the development of the F10: in Valencia in a fortnight’s time, we will have some significant updates, but then we must continue to improve the car to be in the fight right to the end. The Drivers’ championship is very open and if the Constructors’ one looks a bit trickier, the situation can change really quickly.”

Fernando Alonso: “It’s great to be back on the podium and especially to be able to fight for the top places once again. Today, we could have won but we did not manage it because, on a few occasions, we paid a heavy price for the traffic. These things can happen to anyone in a race and this time it was our turn. If we want to reach our objective, we must try and always finish on the podium and this result is a great motivation for a team that today did a great job, in terms of strategy and handling the pit stops. It was difficult to manage the tyres: the softs at the start suffered from degradation very quickly, but even the hard ones had a different problem with graining. Luckily, our car is reasonably kind to the tyres. From what we had seen in Turkey, we had not really expected to have this level of performance. Now we have a lot of updates coming for the next Grand Prix in Valencia: I really hope they will allow us to be competitive on all types of track. I have never finished on the podium in my second home race, after the one in Barcelona and I would love to do that in two weeks time.”

Felipe Massa: “This was a horrible race, in which everything happened to me. At the first corner, I had an accident that put me out of the game in terms of fighting for a top place finish. I got a very good start, but I found myself sandwiched between Button and Liuzzi, who touched me and you all saw how it ended up. A shame, but these things happen. The car was very good today, as is usually the case in the races when compared to qualifying. After that, I was always in a lot of traffic and when I had at least managed to get back into the points, there was another collision, this time with Michael and that put an end to even that slight chance of points. I expect to do better in Valencia because there will be updates on the F10 and I hope to be in the fight for the top places.”

Chris Dyer: “On the one hand, there is satisfaction with the performance level we showed today, but on the other there is the disappointment with a result that did not live up to our expectations. We had everything in place to win: the speed of the car, the best strategic choice in terms of tyres, the quality of the work of the team at the pit stops. Unfortunately, a handful of unfavourable moments cost us the win. Felipe had a very unlucky race: here, the first corner is always very risky and he was caught up in a collision that was not his fault. Then, when he had at least looked like picking up a small number of points, important for the championship, there was the other incident with Schumacher. It is regrettable, because we should have left Montreal with many more points to our name.”