Team and drivers report from the Belgian Grand Prix, Round 11 of the 2013 F1 World Championship, at Spa-Francorchamps.
Stefano Domenicali: “After qualifying hadn’t really given a true picture of the hierarchy down pit lane, today’s result showed just how competitive our car is. This second place wasn’t easy to come by and follows on from a difficult month and comes after plenty of speculation, which we prefer to reply to with results on track. Certainly this result alone is not enough, because we cannot claim to be satisfied until we manage to reduce the gap to Red Bull and be able to fight for first place. In the coming races, we will try to improve the car to give Fernando a chance of fighting for the championship title and for Felipe to deliver performances which can help the team: those are our goals, the rest doesn’t matter”.
Fernando Alonso: “Today’s result shows that the outcome of qualifying bears little relation to the result on Sunday, although I think that even if I’d started from pole I would still have finished second, because Vettel was quicker. At the start we immediately made up some places and all in a rush, first passing Button, then Rosberg and Hamilton, so I found myself six seconds behind Vettel, but if one looks at the final gap of 16 seconds, we can but congratulate him and his team. The car worked well in all conditions, with a full fuel load at first and then with a lighter one at the end and, on top of that, the extra speed we had on the straight meant I could overtake without taking too many laps to do so. We know we have made a step forward and that we have recovered some of the competitiveness we had lost in recent races. In Monza and Singapore we will see the next steps in this process. The updates used in this race worked well and, even if they were aimed at this particular circuit, they are the results of work that goes on twenty four hours a day, at home and at the track. That makes us optimistic for the coming races, because our goal still remains the same, namely to fight for the title right to the end”.
Felipe Massa: “That was a difficult race for me right from the early stages, because after managing a good passing move at the start, I then had to slow and [I] drop[ped] back four or five places, to avoid a collision with Grosjean at the exit of the first corner. From then on, things got complicated because for a few laps I had a problem on the steering wheel linked to the KERS operation and I wasn’t able to communicate well with the team. When everything was back to normal again, it wasn’t easy to catch up, because even if the decision to bring forward the first pit stop allowed me to get past several cars, the pace wasn’t good. In the final stint on the Hard tyres, the car was very competitive and I managed to gain some important places, with a nice passing move on Grosjean. I definitely can’t be pleased with seventh place, because today, our car deserved better, but the fact we’re more competitive than at the last few races makes me think we are working in the right direction and so we can hope to make progress throughout the second half of the season”.
Pat Fry: “The performance level we saw in today’s race is what we were unable to demonstrate yesterday in qualifying and it was certainly worthy of a front row. We knew that with a competitive car on this track, we would be in the game, even if moving up from ninth and tenth places and coming out of La Source in one piece is no easy task. Fernando got a great start, being both aggressive and steady at the same time, even if unfortunately, it was not enough to get past Vettel. In the middle stint of the race, their pace was very similar and it was only in the closing stages that the gap grew. Felipe had a harder time, especially at the start when he got caught up in traffic. We tried bringing forward his first pit stop to make up some places, but in the end, the time lost at the start prevented him from getting into the top five. Now we will tackle two very important races and only by improving the car will we be able to fight for the lead in the Championship”. (Ferrari)
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