Team and drivers report from the Singapore Grand Prix, Round 13 of the 2013 Formula 1 World Championship, at Marina Bay Circuit.
Stefano Domenicali: “I am happy with the performance of the team on a weekend that was not easy for us and on a day when unfortunately, it was the wrong Bull that stopped. Clearly, with yet another win for Vettel, to whom I send my congratulations, the Drivers’ Championship situation is becoming difficult, but until the outcome is a mathematical certainty, we will continue to push. I don’t think we could have picked up many more points today, [while] all the same have strengthened, albeit only slightly, our position in the Constructors’ Championship. A reasonably clear scenario emerged from Friday’s practice, in which apart from the leaders being very strong, we were also up against Mercedes and Lotus, who were also back to being very competitive here in Singapore. We finished ahead of them in unfavourable conditions and this should motivate us to give it our all over the last six races. We definitely have to be realistic about our chances, even if we have a duty to ourselves and those working in Maranello, to try and score as many points as possible, because we don’t want to give up on doing well in both classifications. We have seen how performance levels can change depending on the circuits and during the coming week we will prepare to tackle the Korea-Japan doubleheader in the best way possible”.
Fernando Alonso: “Today’s second place is like a victory for us, at the end of a difficult weekend on a track where it’s very tricky to overtake. The key points of this race were the start and the strategy and, in both cases, the decisions taken proved to be the right ones, even if they were aggressive choices. At the start, I managed to pass four cars, helped by having watched the starts from previous races here, but then I couldn’t pass Rosberg. The decision to pit when the Safety Car came out paid off, even if it wasn’t easy to get to the finish with the tyres on the limit. Fortunately, thanks to the advantage I had over Raikkonen and Webber, we were able to manage the situation over the final laps: if I’d been in a group, it would have been like the end of a horror movie! Now the gap to the championship leaders has increased and apart from congratulating them, because they deserve to be where they are, we must be realistic, because to win the title now, we would need a lot of luck. Sure, we cannot think of giving up right now because if that luck does show up, then we will be there to take it”.
Felipe Massa: “Given everything that happened in today’s race, sixth place is a really good result. After a fantastic start, at the first corner I found myself stuck inside the cars that had braked early and, at that point I lost places instead of making up some. From then on, I was always stuck behind other cars and we all know how hard it is to overtake at this track. When the Safety Car came out, we had two options: to fit the Medium tyres, with which we weren’t sure to go all the way to the end, or the Supersofts, to try and regain some places. We went for the second option, but di Resta was ahead of me on the same tyres and so I was stuck behind him. In the final stint after the third stop, I managed to retake sixth place, making the most of the fact that many were struggling with their tyres. It was tough from start to finish and I am very happy to have brought home a good points haul”.
Pat Fry: “This weekend, even if we didn’t have the fastest car, we did manage to maximise our performance getting everything possible out of our driver-team package and the result is absolutely positive. With Fernando, the decision to stay out all the way to the end after the Safety Car paid off handsomely. Our competitiveness in the race was better than we had seen in the previous days, but even if we knew that things could change today, we must try to improve, especially in situations where the track characteristics don’t suit our car. Fernando pulled off an amazing start, as it’s really rare to make up four places at the start here in Singapore. Felipe also got away well, but then, his inside line meant he had to move over to avoid a collision. At Fernando’s first stop, we had to cover Webber’s early stop: we knew we would have found ourselves in traffic behind di Resta, but the pit stop window was very limited and we preferred not to take the risk. When the Safety Car came out, we had half a lap to take a decision and, in the end we brought both drivers in, trying different strategies. We tried to play an ace with Fernando and luckily we did not have to go through a repeat of what happened in Canada in 2012. For the final six races, one group of engineers will still concentrate on the F138, because we want to continue to try and improve so that we can be more competitive”. (Ferrari F1)
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