Ferrari: A race of mixed fortunes

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso

There were mixed fortunes for Scuderia Ferrari at a classic British Grand Prix, with Kimi Raikkonen going out on the opening lap but Fernando Alonso fighting his way up from 16th on the grid to sixth at the flag.

Fernando lined up on the grid with his car too far forward and that would later cost him a 5 second penalty. Coming onto the Wellington Straight for the first time, Kimi ran wide while fighting Gutierrez and as he tried to rejoin the track a bump spun him round into the barriers.

The car came back across the track and he was hit by Felipe Massa before ending in the tyre wall on the other side. The man from Espoo took a hard knock on the ankle and also has pain in a knee. He will now have to rest but he will be back in time for the next round in Germany.

At the restart, Alonso put on a show flying up from eleventh to fifth, before being chased down by Vettel who had just come back on track after his tyre change. In the end, the German made the most of his fresher rubber to pass the Ferrari man whose Mediums were well worn.

Marco Mattiacci: “The most important news right now is that Kimi is alright, even though the impact with the barriers was a heavy one. He has some bruising and will now be resting to be in shape for the next race. Given the outcome of Qualifying, we knew that we faced an uphill struggle in the race, but that we could count on having a race pace that would allow us to try and get back in the points. On this front, Fernando lived up to our expectations, pulling off some memorable overtaking moves. I think that, with fewer problems and without the penalty for his start position, he could have got better than sixth. His great climb up the order was yet more proof of his extremely aggressive mentality, which is exactly what we must demonstrate for the rest of the season.”

Fernando Alonso: “I think today’s race was very spectacular, certainly for us it was extremely hectic, first with Kimi’s retirement and then with the penalty for being out of position at the start. Then there were also my duels with Button and Vettel. When Sebastian came up behind me I was saving fuel and battery power and had a problem with the rear wing so I knew that sooner or later he would have overtaken me. I think that both Red Bulls deserved to finish ahead of us, because they were quicker. Now we must analyse our performance and try to improve for the next round in Germany: if we want to make up ground in the Constructors’ Championship, we must try and do our utmost at the track, working on strategy, set-up and especially we must try and be more astute than the others, when it comes to grabbing any opportunity to score points.”

Kimi Raikkonen: “Unfortunately, my race today ended on the first lap, after I had managed to get away well, making up enough ground to be fighting for eleventh place. At turn 5, I went off the track and while trying to get back on, I must have hit a kerb. I then lost control of the car and ended in the barriers. It’s a real shame because yesterday, the feeling I had on track had improved and I was determined to do my utmost to bring home some points. I am really very disappointed with how things went today, but now I want to put this incident behind me and just concentrate on the next race in Germany.”

Pat Fry: “As we were starting from sixteenth and eighteenth places, we opted to start on the Hard compound and go for a more aggressive strategy. The aim was to have a short first stint before switching to the softer and faster tyre for the rest of the race. Kimi got a great start, making up several places in just a few corners but unfortunately his accident put an end to it all. Fortunately, he is OK, with no serious injuries and that’s the most important thing. After the race was stopped, we discussed things with Fernando and decided to fit the Mediums to the end of the race, with a one-stop strategy. Despite the difficulties he had to deal with, Fernando once again displayed his great talent, both on the offensive and the defensive. At some points in the race, there was clearly some frustration, which is completely understandable, because the entire team wants to give him and Kimi a more competitive car and for that reason, we will continue trying our hardest.”