Ferrari: Red flag decided the race

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 position 4 6
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’14.483 (-0.394) 1’14.877
Race position 2
Laps 78/78 32/78
Pit stops 3 1

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 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78
Fernando Alonso 87.562 81.614 80.26 80.348 80.404 79.702 79.859 79.327 79.754 79.262 79.361 79.632 79.884 80.169 81.307 81.274 98.603 83.538 79.974 80.013 79.421 79.052 78.77 79.524 79.407 79.821 78.949 79.257 78.873 79.147 79.171 78.978 80.215 116.08 107.482 116.652 117.313 114.314 82.97 80.116 78.991 79.482 79.664 78.878 79.169 79.022 78.818 78.845 79.081 78.608 78.585 78.363 78.78 79.073 79.942 78.816 79.123 78.846 79.168 79.38 78.632 79.658 79.735 79.276 79.855 79.359 80.546 80.108 85.973 129.479 123.54 125.254 79.149 78.05 76.931 76.471 76.547
Felipe Massa 90.601 82.137 81.192 80.934 80.912 81.017 80.744 81.131 81.289 81.576 82.145 82.471 83.573 84.071 80.49 80.202 80.873 80.892 81.127 81.271 81.301 81.491 81.681 81.601 82.372 101.786 85.07 80.99 81.139 82.096 81.893 82.373
Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Monaco, 2011

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Monaco, 2011

Fernando Alonso

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.”

Fernando Alonso 2011 form guide

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Monaco, 2011

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Monaco, 2011

Felipe Massa

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.”

Felipe Massa 2011 form guide

2011 Monaco Grand Prix

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67 comments on Ferrari: Red flag decided the race

  1. BBT (@bbt) said on 30th May 2011, 20:11

    Vettel was saved from a third place. The only question is who would of won, Button or Alonso, and I’d say Alonso.

  2. UKfanatic (@) said on 30th May 2011, 22:24

    I would say by the way things were heading that Vettel had 20% chances of winning Alonso 50% and Button 30%. Vettels Red bull was all over the place, much worse than Alonso, Button would surely take advantage if any of drivers collided so I feel that it could have been a great finnish an epic one maybe one of the 3 best races I have ever seen, better than china surely, anyway FIA should change the rules for restarts, only giving the chance of changing tyres for the damageed vehicles.
    seeing both drivers struggling so much with grip made me think that all we need is less tyre grip

  3. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 31st May 2011, 2:49

    I hope Ferrari have found the pace up front.

  4. WarfieldF1 said on 31st May 2011, 9:02

    The rules seemed quite clear, everyone could do whatever they wanted during the red flag……….yes it destroyed the race for anyone waiting to see if Vettels tyres would fall off the “cliff”; but i do feel that Mclaren are clueless by not covering off the harder tyre earlier in the race for jenson, he seemed to have possibly the best clear air pace BUT you need luck at Monaco and it seems Red Bull put those harder tyres on by mistake during their confused pit stop routine (lucky), the safety car periods played into his hands by extending the life of his tyres (lucky) and the red flag was certainly lucky for him. It does just seem to be one of those things. If dario had been lucky to get a yellow flag in his last stint he may well have won Indy 500, but there wasnt and he didnt. Its just the way it goes.

  5. Gill said on 31st May 2011, 13:57

    Howcome the graphics showing the lap times in 100, 100 120 secs. The average lap time would be around 1 min 18 sec which is 78 secs. Is there some problem with the graph ?

  6. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 31st May 2011, 19:11

    Gutted for Massa, it wasn’t nice to see him go out. He had been doing so well and he had every right to take further action against Hamilton.

    As for Alonso, I love the fact that we will never know!

    To be honest, call it ambitious, but I couldn’t see him getting past Vettel. His tyres were starting to slip and Button was right on the back of him, he had to defend as well as attack and ultimately a few laps later I reckon he would have had to defend more.

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