Ferrari: Alonso stars, Massa struggles

2011 Spanish GP team review

Ferrari’s weekend got off to a troubled start as they were forbidden from using the new rear wing which they ran for the first time in Friday practice.

Fernando Alonso Felipe Massa
Qualifying position 4 8
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’21.964 (-0.924) 1’22.888
Race position 5
Laps 65/66 58/66
Pit stops 4 3

Ferrari drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2011drivercolours.csv
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61
Fernando Alonso 94.494 90.812 90.606 90.012 90.318 90.039 90.007 90.164 90.303 92.825 108.222 89.323 89.809 89.778 89.856 89.898 90.316 90.475 92.615 105.987 88.878 88.737 89.003 89.67 89.332 89.538 89.543 89.828 92.309 108.274 90.417 90.511 91.255 91.092 90.364 91.462 90.712 90.601 92.837 107.534 90.526 89.989 89.817 89.977 90.299 90.106 90.064 90.642 90.557 91.085 90.615 90.523 91.456 90.208 90.475 90.248 90.531 90.362 90.581 90.491 90.038
Felipe Massa 99.979 92.589 92.187 92.103 91.895 91.839 91.897 92.087 92.012 93.074 96.365 107.941 91.307 90.707 91.43 91.783 91.291 91.082 90.93 91.065 93.836 107.668 90.223 89.081 89.942 89.386 89.518 89.964 90.917 90.396 90.259 90.91 91.048 90.867 91.879 94.786 110.369 94.224 90.593 90.635 90.438 91.057 92.775 91.396 90.644 90.727 90.814 91.023 90.614 93.359 90.834 90.718 90.888 91.064 90.296 90.966 91.103 92.777
Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel, Barcelona, 2011

Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel, Barcelona, 2011

Fernando Alonso

With a new Ferrari contract in his pocket Fernando Alonso was in exceptional form on home ground.

He described his qualifying lap as “perfect”, splitting the McLarens to take fourth on the grid.

His start with both technically brilliant and gutsy. Alonso admitted, “we have worked so much on this area and you could see the outcome”.

The onboard replay showed he kept his finger on the KERS button even as Sebastian Vettel darted left and right in front of him. Alonso dived down the inside of Mark Webber to take a shock lead.

But the 150??? Italia wasn’t quick enough for him to pull away. By lap 17 he had both Red Bulls and Lewis Hamilton queued up within 2.4 seconds of him.

Having failed to save any soft tyres during qualifying – Ferrari send him out on softs in Q1 – he quickly burned through the faster tyres and was on hards before lap 30.

The car’s pace was even worse on these tyres, yet he managed to keep Webber at pay. The Red Bull got by at turn ten on lap 35 but Alonso neatly reversed the pass on the way out.

Four laps later he was in for another set of tyres and Webber jumped ahead of him by delaying his stop for another eight laps.

But with the two Mercedes holding each other up Alonso’s fifth place was safe.

Alonso said: “I tried to do the maximum, keeping the quickest ones behind me for around twenty laps, but after that, there was nothing I could do.

“It was very stressful having them filling my mirrors all the time and we tried as much as possible to copy or anticipate their moves. That meant doing over the half the race on the hards, which penalised us heavily and made the gap bigger than it is in reality.”

Fernando Alonso 2011 form guide

Felipe Massa

There was not much in the Spanish Grand Prix weekend that Massa will look back on with any fondness. He found his way into a gravel trap during practice and qualified the best part of a second off his flying team mate’s pace.

Massa looked particularly unhappy on the new hard tyres – bringing back memories of last year – and spun on the lap after he put them on during the race.

He had fallen to tenth, 46 second behind Alonso, when he parked up with a gearbox failure eight laps from home. He described it as “a fitting end to a terrible weekend”.

Felipe Massa 2011 form guide

2011 Spanish Grand Prix

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70 comments on Ferrari: Alonso stars, Massa struggles

  1. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 24th May 2011, 2:50

    If you watch the race again after the cars crossed turn 2-3 complex after the start just look at the background of the sea of Spanish fans who were jumping up & down like a spring, that was one of the best F1 start in recent times I have seen.Probably as far as my memory goes this have to be second best to me next to Senna 93 Donnington Park.

  2. Damon said on 24th May 2011, 9:01

    I don’t believe massa is any worse than pre 09 I just feel he is not suited to these tyres, the same for Schumacher. Notice how him and Schumacher are always losing when turning in after a big braking zone. The faster corners affect them less. I just feel they cannot come to grips with the tyres, I think if they were both in the 08 spec Ferrari it would be neck and neck between them

  3. troutcor said on 24th May 2011, 14:35

    I understand you all are permanently poisoned against Alonso, but really, are you also blinded? He is driving the wheels off that dog of a car. To put that glorified Yugo in the lead (it required a brilliant start AND quali, you may remember) is just what you all supposedly ask for: less cool calculation and more inspiration. Now obviously y’all love Button, who can only succeed by rolling the dice on some odd strategy gamble, then cruise around like a granny on her way to market until something happens, but really, it was a brilliant bit of fun by Alonso and he ended up no worse off than he would have had he taken the Button-is-Boring strategy. OK, he was a lap down. But can anyone say that Ferrari is worth more than fifth place right now? Massa is wrestling with the Saubers, for crying out loud.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 25th May 2011, 2:40

      Yes, Alonso is doing a great job, but I haven’t seen any posts from people not called “Prisoner Monkeys” bashing Alonso. Further evidenced by how a lot of people have voted Alonso driver of the weekend and for overtake of the race (on the forum).

      And Massa has come in for criticism, and on the forum is seen by most as worst driver of the weekend, so you’re a fanboy who is complaining for nothing.

  4. Gridlock said on 24th May 2011, 22:19

    I was thinking something like “Bernd is having a cigarette” would both provide a good code for “the safety car window is open” and keep Marlboro happy.

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