2011 Monaco GP team review
Ferrari believe Fernando Alonso could have won the race but for the red flag at the end.
|Fernando Alonso||Felipe Massa|
|Qualifying time comparison (Q3)||1’14.483 (-0.394)||1’14.877|
Ferrari drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):
Alonso put his car fourth on the grid and showed once again the Ferrari is lightning in a standing start by passing Mark Webber before the first corner.
Although he looked hesitant whenever he switched to a new set of soft tyres Alonso was able to stay in range of Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button.
Heading into the final laps of the race Alonso’s tyres were 18 laps fresher than Vettel’s, and behind him Button’s were 14 laps newer. Ferrari believed Vettel’s times were about to drop off and he would have been defenceless had he not been able to make a free tyre change when the race was suspended.
Team principal Stefano Domenicali said: “There’s no doubt the red flag towards the end deprived our driver of the opportunity to attack in the final laps, making the most of having tyres with slightly less degradation.
“At the restart, with everyone on new tyres, there was not much more we could do.”
Alonso said he was prepared to try a pass for the lead, believing Vettel would think of the championship and act conservatively:
“I really think in the last nine laps the tyres from the Red Bull was struggling a lot, especially in the last part of the circuit and the middle part, so I had two places already in mind for the last lap.”
“There is nothing to lose for me. I am not leading the championship so I will try to win the race and if we crash we crash.”
Asked where he would try to pass Vettel, Alonso replied: “the two long straights were a possibility or the only possibility in fact: after the tunnel and turn one”.
Vettel responded: “It was my job to make use of the KERS, and I knew that those two places would be the ones where Fernando has the biggest chance to get close or try something under braking so I was trying to spend most of the KERS in those areas.”
Massa equalled his best grid position of the year with sixth, bit slipped behind Nico Rosberg at the start.
That proved costly, as the Mercedes driver quickly ran into trouble with his tyres. Massa got past him at Tabac on lap 13, but not before he had lost 30 seconds to the leaders.
He stayed out until lap 26 before switching to soft tyres and came out of the pits in front of Lewis Hamilton. The McLaren driver tried to pass him at the hairpin and the pair interlocked wheel as Massa knocked the rear of Mark Webber’s car.
Massa stayed ahead briefly but Hamilton drew alongside him as they went into the tunnel and the Ferrari driver skidded into the barrier and out of the race.
Afterwards Massa said Hamilton tried to pass him at an “impossible place” and laid the blame for his crash at his rival’s feet: “I am very disappointed with the way my race ended.
“After Hamilton had tried to pass me at Loews, which is an impossible place to do it, hitting me and pushing me into Webber, the car was no longer right and I could not drive it properly, which is why he got on the inside of me inside the tunnel.
“That put me on the dirt and then I ended up in the barrier.”
2011 Monaco Grand Prix
- New video of Maldonado and Hamilton’s Monaco crash
- Vettel would have gone the distance in Monaco – Pirelli
- Williams: first points of 2011 “bittersweet”
- 2011 Monaco Grand Prix: complete race weekend review
- Vettel made call to stay out, says Horner
- Hamilton apologises to Massa and Maldonado
- Vote for your Monaco Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend
- McLaren: Hamilton loses cool after weekend of frustration
- Red Bull: Vettel takes another win under pressure
- Ferrari: Red flag decided the race
Image © Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo