Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Interlagos, 2010

Alonso loses the battle but he’s winning the war

Ferrari race reviewPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Fernando Alonso saw his championship lead cut from 11 points to eight in the Brazilian Grand Prix.

But as far as the championship is concerned it suited him fine that Sebastian Vettel was doing the winning and not Mark Webber.

However team mate Felipe Massa endured a dreadful race at home.

Felipe Massa Fernando Alonso
Qualifying position 9 5
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’17.101 (+1.112) 1’15.989
Race position 15 3
Laps 70/71 71/71
Pit stops 3 1

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Felipe Massa

For Massa, the only consolation in his home Grand Prix was that it brought him one race closer to finishing a dreadful season.

Scraped into Q3 with a last-gasp lap that relegated Jenson Button. But in ninth place he was over a second slower than Alonso:

In the wet, with intermediates, I was able to do reasonably good times, but when we fitted the soft slicks and the track was still damp, I immediately felt a lack of grip which in the end affected my performance. In fact, all season I have struggled to get my tyres up to temperature and the damp track definitely did not help.
Felipe Massa

His race was ruined by a problem at his first pit stop which meant his right-front wheel didn’t go on properly and he had to come in again on the next lap.

That left him 23rd, and he began working his way back up the field. Ferrari seized the opportunity offered by the safety car to give him a fresh set of tyres.

He passed Nick Heidfeld and Adrian Sutil after the re-started but clashed with Sebastien Buemi and spun off, losing the places he’d gained.

He then fell behind Rubens Barrichello and Vitaly Petrov as well, but re-passed Petrov to end the race 15th. “Everything happened to me today,” he said afterwards.

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

Fernando Alonso

Had an engine failure at the end of first practice but the team said it was a high-mileage unit that was scheduled to be replaced ahead of second practice anyway. Ended Friday three tenths of a second slower than Sebastian Vettel.

In the damp qualify session he took fifth behind Lewis Hamilton and passed the McLaren driver on the second lap.

It took a few careful efforts to prise third place from Nico H???lkenberg’s grasp but Alonso finally saw daylight on lap seven.

The Red Bulls were too far ahead and too quick for him to catch, though as ever the F10 seemed to treat it tyres well leaving him with good pace later on in the stints.

He kept his cool after the safety car restart despite a frustrating moment behind Jaime Alguersuari to bring the car home in third place:

All things considered, I am pleased with this result. We have only lost three points to our closest rival and, given how things turned out yesterday in qualifying, it went well: if this morning, I had been told it would finish like this, I would have happily signed for it.

We were very cautious in the very first corners, because everyone was very aggressive and we did not want to risk touching anyone. Then, we immediately lost too much ground to Vettel and Webber: it took me several laps to get past Hulkenberg, while passing Hamilton is never easy.
Fernando Alonso

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

2010 Brazilian Grand Prix

Browse all 2010 Brazilian Grand Prix articles

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