Massa struggles despite Ferrari upgrades (Spanish Grand Prix team-by-team)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Felipe Massa had a frustrating run to sixth in Spain
Felipe Massa had a frustrating run to sixth in Spain

Second place for Fernando Alonso in his home race helped him cut the gap to championship leader Jenson Button.

But Felipe Massa struggled for pace in the Spanish Grand Prix and said afterwards he issn’t able to get the most out of the car on combination of soft and hard tyres used since Melbourne.

Felipe Massa Fernando Alonso
Qualifying position 9 4
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’21.585 (+0.648) 1’20.937
Race position 6 2
Average race lap 1’28.028 (+0.632) 1’27.396
Laps 66/66 66/66
Pit stops 1 1
Spanish Grand Prix team-by-team: Ferrari
Spanish Grand Prix team-by-team: Ferrari (click to enlarge)

Felipe Massa

Beaten on Saturday for the fourth time in a row, Massa has been 0.47s slower than Alonso on average in qualifying over the last four races.

Luckily for Massa Robert Kubica and Nico Rosberg took themselves out of his way at the start, elevating him to seventh.

But despite having the fastest car in a straight line – hitting 312.2kph on the straight thanks to the team’s new F-duct and revised engine – Massa couldn’t get past Button.

Afterwards he described his frustration at spending the rest or the race behind Button and the damage he incurred hitting Karun Chandhok while trying to lap the HRT driver:

Once again today, the main difficulty was a lack of grip, especially in the third sector: every time it looked as though I might close on Button, he managed to get away from me over some sections of the track.

We must work to improve the car?s performance and there is no doubt about it. Even though we brought home a good number of points, I can?t be happy with the way things went this weekend.

When I touched a backmarker, the left front wing end plate got broken, but the handling of the car was not affected much. If I?d returned to the pits to change the nose, I would have lost at least three places, so the decision to stay out on track was the right one.
Felipe Massa

Compare Felipe Massa’s form against his team mate in 2010

Fernando Alonso

Alonso was comfortably quicker than Massa throughout the weekend. He ended the race 40 seconds ahead of his team mate, who was stuck behind Michael Schumacher and Jenson Button.

Alonso could have made a pit stop in the late stages of the race without losing track position, to switch to the soft tyres. But he revealed afterwards the Ferrari’s ability to keep life in its tyres over a stint meant it didn’t offer that great a benefit:

We knew we could expect a difficult Grand Prix, because on tracks like this we still don?t have enough aerodynamic downforce to fight for pole position and the win, even if the races are very long and that was confirmed yet again today.

In circumstances like this we have to try and attack and exploit every opportunity. Our strong point seems to be tyre management as ours seemed to be in better condition than those of our rivals in the final stages of the race.

We have to up our performance level, but we do have the potential to win the championship. The management system for the blown rear wing worked well but it is still at the experimental stage. Maybe in Turkey we will have an updated version.
Fernando Alonso

Compare Fernando Alonso’s form against his team mate in 2010

2010 Spanish Grand Prix
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