Ferrari: It was like a 67 lap qualifying run!

Jul.22 (Ferrari Press Release) Third victory of the season for Scuderia Ferrari, once again courtesy of Fernando Alonso. This was the Spaniard’s 30th win from 188 race starts, the third from ten appearances in the German Grand Prix and the ninth at the wheel of a Prancing Horse car.

The Scuderia thus reaches a total of 219 victories from 841 Grands Prix, with no less than 21 of them coming in this event. At the mid-point of the championship, Fernando heads the Drivers’ classification on 154 points, 34 more than his closest rival.

Felipe’s race was ruined by the accident at the start, which meant he had to pit immediately for a new front wing: Felipe finished 12th and stays on 23 points in the championship. The team has consolidated second place in the Constructors’ championship, slightly reducing the gap to the leader and increasing its advantage over the third placed team.

Luca di Montezemolo: “I wish to thank the whole team and Fernando for this fantastic victory! Hockenheim is in a country that is home to some of the greatest car constructors in the world and that has a great Formula One tradition and a Ferrari was in the number one position on track, yesterday in the wet and today in the dry. I am proud of the amazing job the team has done at the track and the factory over these past few months. We must continue like this.”

Stefano Domenicali: “It was like a 67 lap qualifying run! I find it hard to remember watching from the pit wall such a tight race from the start to the chequered flag. Fernando was perfect: not one mistake, not one hesitation, pushing to the maximum for an hour and a half. What a driver! The team were also great, managing everything to perfection. We expected to face some stiff opposition and that was the case: to keep ahead of them, we had to do a better job. A shame for Felipe who definitely had the pace to finish in the points: his race was ruined by the collision at the start and he is definitely not going through a lucky time at the moment! Now we come to what will be a key race, in just a week’s time, in Budapest and then we will be able to pause for breath for a moment. We know we still have a lot of work to do, because we are still not the fastest. We have seen how quickly things can change this season, therefore we must keep concentrating to the maximum, especially on the reliability front. Finally, I wish to spare a thought for Valerio Catelani and Daniela Bertoneri, who lost their lives this morning in a tragic accident in the City of Lucca Rally: motor sport is still a sport where risk is ever present and one must never drop one’s guard on the safety front. This has been the case in Formula One now for many years, thanks to the efforts of the FIA.”

Fernando Alonso: “It was a very close race from start to finish. We did not have the quickest car. McLaren and Red Bull had a little bit extra but not enough to get past. The team took a few strategic decisions that were spot on, at the time of both stops and I knew that I had to concentrate, especially at Turn 6, defending my position by using the KERS. Then, in the third sector, there was no room for overtaking. I tried as much as possible to manage the tyres at all times. Clearly, I didn’t have a moment to relax but I think I was calmer than the team in the garage and on the pit wall and our fans sitting in front of their televisions! If I think back to where we were in Jerez, or Australia at the first race, I have to thank everyone at Maranello for the fantastic way in which they reacted to the situation. After yesterday’s pole, in the wet, the car seemed to be very strong, as we expected. We must keep focussed, avoid problems with reliability or with the pit stops and I know that when it comes to that, I can count on the best team, a team that is used to winning a lot. All I have to do is think about driving and helping the team. I always want to give 100% and work day and night towards this goal. I don’t want anyone to come to Hungary better prepared than me, physically or mentally or more motivated than me and I always try and win this competition that runs alongside the one on the track. I expect to go well in Budapest and there is no reason to be pessimistic. However, I am not forgetting that Red Bull and McLaren were quicker. I said that the month of July would be crucial, with 75 points up for grabs in four weeks and so far we have brought home 43, so we will try and finish the job in Hungary.”

Felipe Massa: “It was a very hard race for me, conditioned by the problem at the start. I got away well, but then a Toro Rosso slowed suddenly in front of me and, despite trying to avoid him, I touched him with the front wing. I lost so much time coming back to the pits and my race was practically over at that point. The tyres worked well, matching our expectations. A real shame, because again today the car was very competitive, as Fernando demonstrated, having a perfect race to take a well deserved and great win, which is extremely important for him and for the whole team. Obviously, I am not happy today, but the fact that I can count on a car that is getting better all the time in terms of performance, gives me confidence for the rest of the season. We must improve the situation in qualifying, trying to start further up the order: it’s the easiest way to avoid problems at the start, like the one I was caught up in this afternoon. I think we should be on the pace in Hungary, as has been the case in the last few races.”

Pat Fry: “Once again, Fernando was fantastic. He made the most of pole at the start, then he waited until he had built up a useful window in which to make the first stop and managed to do so ahead of his main rivals. Once he was on the Mediums, the first few laps were rather difficult: both Vettel and Button were able to close up but our driver was brilliant in managing the situation and never once left himself open to an attack. Then it was Button who pitted early, but we had enough of an advantage to be able to react immediately without running the risk of being overtaken. The team was equally adept in the pit stops and the remote garage back in Maranello played an important part too, as was the case yesterday in qualifying. We are disappointed for Felipe who paid a high price for the collision at the start. We tried to get him back in the race by seeing if we could do just one stop, but it was clear that wasn’t possible. A shame, because the pace he showed throughout the race would have definitely seen him finish in the points, even starting that far back on the grid. We still do not have the quickest car: we were aware of that and we saw it again today. We must carry on working hard to reach that objective, but it is definitely gratifying to end the first half of the season with our driver heading the classification…”