Team and drivers report from the Bahrain Grand Prix, Round 4 of the 2013 Formula 1 world championship, at Sakhir.
Stefano Domenicali: “This is definitely not the outcome we expected after showing all weekend long that we were capable of fighting for the top places. Today’s result needs to be put behind us in a hurry, although there is a feeling of great disappointment that we were unable to bring home the hoped for result. Despite his problem with the DRS, Fernando produced a blistering drive, pulling off overtaking moves and setting lap times that were absolutely incredible. Felipe’s race was also very complicated: first of all he was involved in a collision at the start of the race, which damaged the front wing on his F138, then he had tyre problems which compromised his race still further. An initial analysis after the first four races indicates that we did not pick up as many points as we should have done. In just over three weeks, we will be back on track in Europe and it will be important to turn this trend around immediately. Until then, we will knuckle down and continue with the development of a car that still has plenty of potential to offer”.
Fernando Alonso: “We definitely didn’t have much luck today and that’s a real shame, at the end of what had been such a positive weekend for me and Felipe up until this afternoon. We had been competitive in free practice and qualifying and we were both expecting to have a good race. After the opening laps, when I thought the rear tyres had gone off, the pit wall informed that the DRS was stuck. It wasn’t fixed properly at the first stop and so I had to come in for another one. From then on, the clear instruction from the pit wall not to use it affected my race. I tried to recover but it was really difficult finding places to overtake without DRS. When you are far back, in the middle of a group, tyre degradation is even harder to manage. I am sure that without the problems me and Felipe had, we would have finished higher up, because the car responds very well and it is definitely our best of the last four years. But having a good race involves a lot of factors, including a bit of luck. Let’s hope it balances out very soon, maybe even starting in Barcelona, my home race. There, it will be even more important to have a good qualifying, because it’s not easy to overtake on that track and so starting from the front is vital”.
Felipe Massa: “I was really unlucky in this race and even if it’s true that many things can happen in this sport, I can’t find an explanation for why so many of them have to be negative. At the start, I lost ground after the collision with Sutil and then I lost even more time coming back to the pits to change tyres and that wiped out any chance of having a good race. At the start, I suffered a bit with understeer, but I don’t believe that was the cause of my problems, while we still need to check what happened to my tyres that failed in this way. In the first instance it was probably delamination on the right rear and in the second it might have been due to a puncture. Now we must try and understand exactly what happened and immediately turn our attention to the next race”.
Pat Fry: “This was a very complicated Sunday for both drivers. On lap 6, a problem occurred with the DRS on Fernando’s car which forced us to bring forward his first stop to try and fix the rear wing which literally turned upside down. The first attempt from the mechanics was not enough to fix the problem and a second stop to try and fix it further cost valuable time. It’s a real shame because even with a damaged car, his race pace was among the best and it should have been enough to see us finish second or even fight for the win. Massa didn’t have an easy time either and after the collision immediately after the start came problems with his tyres: it’s not yet clear what provoked the first incident, while the second was almost certainly a puncture. It’s very probable that in part, this can be attributed to debris on the track. Even though we missed out on a good result we leave Bahrain in the knowledge that we can fight at the front and so we are even more motivated to keep improving”.