2011 Chinese GP team review
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo says “this cannot and must not be the team’s level” after his cars finish sixth and seventh.
|Fernando Alonso||Felipe Massa|
|Qualifying time comparison (Q3)||1’35.119 (-0.026)||1’35.145|
Ferrari drivers’ lap times throughout the race:
A pair of hydraulic leaks cost Alonso time in second practice. The, after the team had spent the first session doing more aerodynamic tests and running a new front wing and brake ducts.
They decided against using them in the race. Alonso said: “It’s still too early to use them in a race: we hope to make a significant step forward in Turkey.”
He out-qualified Massa for the third time in 2011 – and Massa kept up his record of passing Alonso at the start.
Ferrari put both their drivers on two-stop strategies. But even though Alonso stayed out long enough to inherit the lead for two laps, when he came back out following his pit stop he was seventh, behind Michael Schumacher.
The ensuing battle with Schumacher, which Alonso eventually won, cost the Ferrari driver as Pat Fry admitted afterwards: “Fernando was battling with Schumacher for at least eight laps and his tyres suffered because of that, to such an extent that he was unable to push as hard as he wanted once he had a clear track ahead of him.”
Alonso was demoted to seventh by Mark Webber towards the end of the race and spent the final laps fending off Schumacher.
Massa continues to show improved form, finishing the race almost 15 seconds in front of the team mate who gave him such a hammering last year.
However he wasn’t happy with his race strategy, as a team statement showed afterwards: “In the heat of the moment, Felipe was not completely convinced about the choice made together with the pit wall.
“It’s easy to understand the frustration of the Brazilian driver who fought alongside McLaren, Red Bull and Mercedes for most of the race and was still in third place eight laps from the end, only to see himself overtaken by three cars in the final moments.
“By yesterday evening, having further analysed the detail of the situation, even Felipe agreed how, for Ferrari, the difference between the two strategies would not have been huge in terms of finishing positions.”
The same statement hinted at the reasons for Ferrari’s problems: “This year’s Formula 1 is much more unpredictable, you just have to think about the different performance of the same type of tyres on two identical cars or between one race and another.”
Massa ran second after passing Lewis Hamilton early on, but the McLaren driver came back past him on lap 43.
After that Jenson Button, Nico Rosberg and Mark Webber all made their way past the Ferrari on consecutive laps.
Ferrari have not had a car on the podium for the last four races, which last happened at the end of 2009.
2011 Chinese Grand Prix
- Hamilton: ‘It’s sweeter to win by overtaking’
- 2011 Chinese Grand Prix: complete race weekend review
- Who was the best driver of the Chinese GP weekend?
- McLaren: Button’s pit mistakes almost cost Hamilton
- Red Bull: Poor qualifying gives strategy advantage to Webber
- Ferrari: Montezemolo demands reaction after poor result
- Mercedes: Rosberg beats Ferraris despite fuel worries
- Renault: Points salvaged after poor qualifying
- Sauber: Two penalties in one race for Perez
- Lotus: Kovalainen joins in midfield battle
Image © Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo