Ferrari back on form after poor start to 2011

2011 British GP team review

It would be wrong to write off Ferrari’s resurgence in form in the British Grand Prix as being simply a consequence of the change in the diffuser rules.

If that were the case, it’s doubtful the team would have agreed to a return to a Valencia-spec configuration at the next round.

The team’s success at Silverstone was the result of gradual progress made in recent races.

Fernando Alonso Felipe Massa
Qualifying position 3 4
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’30.516 (-0.608) 1’31.124
Race position 1 5
Laps 52/52 52/52
Pit stops 3 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
Fernando Alonso 118.128 112.701 112.088 111.649 112.426 111.616 111.205 111.149 111.596 110.589 110.512 107.628 131.79 105.535 104.523 101.71 100.985 101.939 99.881 99.949 98.803 98.761 98.986 98.456 98.45 97.541 95.551 116.602 97.069 96.803 96.122 95.769 96.328 96.622 97.472 96.118 96.415 96.71 93.391 113.377 94.908 95.334 95.88 95.708 95.74 95.834 96.161 95.451 96.335 96.883 98.066 101.951
Felipe Massa 119.962 112.173 111.896 112.194 112.379 112.449 111.731 111.701 112.238 111.193 111.296 111.977 106.807 126.862 104.646 102.895 101.503 100.462 101.299 100.178 99.52 99.089 99.091 98.96 98.703 96.118 116.466 98.055 98.135 98.331 97.325 97.098 98.405 97.57 97.795 97.798 97.642 97.677 99.146 99.914 95.094 113.561 96.155 95.544 96.293 95.89 95.792 95.915 95.474 95.662 97.413 98.734
Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Silverstone, 2011

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Silverstone, 2011

Fernando Alonso

Qualifying did not start well for Alonso as he went off the track at Luffield in Q1. But he was pleased with the result – third on the grid.

He said: “It?s true that the actual result was better in Canada ?ǣ second ?ǣ but I was further off pole position than I am today.

“Furthermore, we are at a circuit that definitely does not suit the characteristics of our car and to be just over a tenth off first is a great sign.”

Alonso did not get his usual flying start but held onto third behind the Red Bulls. As the track dried he picked up pace more quickly than Mark Webber and began reeling him in for second.

Both Ferraris struggled to warm their tyres up after switching to slicks. That allowed Lewis Hamilton to attack and pass Alonso for third. But once he was back on the pace he made light work of the McLaren in the DRS zone.

Lapping a few tenths faster than Sebastian Vettel, he looked set to reel in the leading Red Bulls. But he was handed the lead when both drivers hit trouble during their pit stops.

With Vettel tucked up behind Hamilton, Alonso pulled out a ten second lead. Nor was Vettel able to catch Alonso once he’d cleared Hamilton – Alonso doubled his lead by lap 50.

Speaking in the press conference afterwards, Alonso was unsure whether he would have won without Vettel’s problem: “Who knows? You never know.

“I think it is difficult to have any prediction of what could have happened without the problems of Sebastian.

“For sure [it's] more difficult and you need to overtake on the track and when you are talking about two or three-tenths different pace in favour of them or us it is not easy to overtake as we saw with the McLaren and for Sebastian it was the same when he tried to overtake Lewis.”

Technical director Pat Fry said: “Putting to one side the entire saga regarding exhaust gases, I think our performance today was mainly down to seeing the benefit of the improvements we have introduced race after race, especially here, where we had so many updates aimed at increasing performance on tracks that have these characteristics.”

Fernando Alonso 2011 form guide

Felipe Massa

Massa was fourth on the grid, six-tenths of a second off Alonso, admitting he’d made mistakes on his first lap in Q3.

He lost a place to Jenson Button at the start but re-passed him on the second lap.

However he didn’t pit for slicks until lap 13 – two laps later than Button – and dropped back behind the McLaren.

Massa was well off Alonso’s pace in the third stint and looked to have dropped out of contention at the front until Hamilton hit trouble and had to save fuel.

He caught Hamilton towards the end of the race, but lost out in a wheel-banging battle to the finishing line around the final corners.

Felipe Massa 2011 form guide

2011 British Grand Prix

Browse all 2011 British Grand Prix articles

Image ?? Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo

Advert | Go Ad-free

65 comments on Ferrari back on form after poor start to 2011

  1. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 11th July 2011, 15:44

    Unfortunately for the Tifosi, I honestly believe it’s still too little, too late for them this season.

    • dyslexicbunny (@dyslexicbunny) said on 11th July 2011, 16:21

      I don’t see why they couldn’t catch McLaren in constructors. But Red Bull and Vettel? I agree.

    • Dan Thorn (@dan-thorn) said on 11th July 2011, 16:35

      It’s never too late. Stranger things have happened…

    • Ads21 (@ads21) said on 11th July 2011, 16:37

      I agree the title’s out of reach, but I’m still hoping to enjoy a few more wins this year. And mega chuffed to see a Ferrari win at one of Red Bull’s strongest tracks, bodes well for the rest of the year.

    • Hatebreeder (@hatebreeder) said on 11th July 2011, 16:48

      yeah last year vettel was definitely not looking to be in a position to win the WDC in the last race (i mean practically, not theoretically), but webber and alonso were stuck behind the renault, and vettel took the title! so who knows!

    • bananarama said on 11th July 2011, 17:17

      Very likely you are right, but its not too late to impress for the rest of the season. If Alonso can get 4 more wins this year I’ll still call it a good year. Sometimes you find yourself in positions like this with a different car dominating. And nobody will give up, especially not Alonso, until is is mathematicly impossible. And even then, winning races still tastes good :-P

    • matt88 (@matt88) said on 11th July 2011, 18:03

      it’s impossible to win, but this is the start of the battle for 2nd place.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 11th July 2011, 20:52

      Yeah, early enough to start winning some races and feel halfway satisfied with the year. And give us a good show.

      But not early enough to fight Vettel for the championship.

      But they must be feeling confident enough about the improvements to give up on the ban on hot blowing (hear that Luca, you can speak again)

    • RIISE (@riise) said on 11th July 2011, 22:02

      You’re crazy, Ferrari and Fernando are going to be 17 and 3 times World Champions respectively.

      • Ella said on 11th July 2011, 22:23

        Appreciate your faith :) Lol, I’m hoping (no matter how insane it is) for the same. I mean… you just never know.

        • wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 12th July 2011, 2:51

          Ferrari’s battle this year will be with Mclaren & we will see more wheel-banging between them in this season.

          • Jay said on 12th July 2011, 4:00

            Well as much the prospect of Fernando winning the title is great..its probably a bridge too far to cross..Vettel will be consistently on the podium if he doesnt win. If Mclaren can consistent take points off Vettel along with Ferrari, it could be possible..but highly unlikely.

            For the constructors, Mass really needs to pick up the pace.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 12th July 2011, 23:10

      I agree Magffrey. There is nothing to really stop Red Bull.

  2. ed24f1 (@ed24f1) said on 11th July 2011, 15:51

    Massa also said that he had a damaged floor from hitting debris at Turn 6 – which makes sense considering Schumacher and Kobayashi clashed there.

    Like Canada, Massa showed in the final stint that he has great determination and never gives up, but

    Ferrari had an abnormally good day in the pitstops, but Massa’s strategy was still quite strange, and seems to be making a habit of pitting too late. For the second race in a row, this has probably stopped him getting above Hamilton.

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 11th July 2011, 16:16

      It’s strange, because Massa pits always three laps later than Alonso but never does one stop less than him. Therefore he loses positions when the others have new tyres and he’s on old ones.

      • ed24f1 (@ed24f1) said on 11th July 2011, 17:13

        Yes, particularly as they used Massa as a pawn to block Vettel and Webber at Silverstone even though there was a big gap to Alonso. This strategy backfired in Valencia, for both drivers, and didn’t work again here for Massa.

        To correct my earlier point, Massa actually did make his 2nd pitstop before Alonso.

        • Rob2 said on 12th July 2011, 13:56

          ed thats a pretty far out claim. It is unlikely that Ferrari would give up some good points just to slow some one down a bit on one corner.

          Dont believe everything the BBC commentators suggest. They are afterall, just spectators.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 11th July 2011, 20:59

        Yep, seems it hurts him al almost all races where he is behind Alonso. Something the team should reconsider.

        I can hardly believe Alonso would mind the team pitting Massa earlier if that would help him to get better points for them. By now he has clearly established, who is the team leader.

    • sumedh said on 11th July 2011, 18:47

      The only way Massa should be planning is by doing one stop lesser than the others.

      This way, he can be of help to Alonso by slowing down others and he can somehow come into the play during the final few laps. Remember how well he was doing in China.

  3. lucazade said on 11th July 2011, 15:53

    @Magnificent
    As tifoso I can assure You isn’t too little! A great result and it leaves room for other good races.

    • Rob2 said on 12th July 2011, 13:58

      Thats the nice thing about us tifoso. We support our team 100%. Unlike those other teams fans who burn the factory down when something goes wrong.

  4. libertywho (@libertywho) said on 11th July 2011, 15:54

    I think of them as vultures. Feeding on what Redbull left behind.

  5. Johnny86 said on 11th July 2011, 16:01

    Well then mclaren feeds on vulture leftovers i guess!!

  6. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 11th July 2011, 16:06

    They didn’t need to use the Hard tyres, though.

    Not saying they didn’t deserve it. Fernando’s pace was astonishing, but still…

  7. sid_prasher (@) said on 11th July 2011, 16:12

    Never to late to win races I think…especially since the rules will not change drastically next year.

  8. xabregas said on 11th July 2011, 17:31

    Before the British GP wasn´t expecting Ferrari to be strong but after the practices and especially Qualifyings thought they could do something, at least for 2º, turns out that Ferrari( by Alonso)was the one to beat, in that 2º sector he was absolutely flying, even without Vettel´s pit problems sooner or later Alonso would have overtook him if that was the case.
    The bad news for Ferrari is that Vettel to far away, the good news is that they can win more races till the end of the season.

  9. coreyray76 (@coreyray76) said on 11th July 2011, 18:57

    this is not a return to form, this is not a ferrari revival, this is a poor pitstop from redbull. no matter what ferrari, or their fans believe, red bull is untouchable. rule changes? did not seem to matter, redbull in P1 and P2 in quali, and simply, would have won the race, if not for a pitstop. ferrari revival, i think not!

    • TED BELL said on 11th July 2011, 20:27

      “DING-DING”
      I ring the bell for common sense…
      Your comment is a real and complete picture of what went down…you’ve taken the words write out of my computer.

      • Q85 said on 11th July 2011, 22:14

        fernando was flying before the pits.

        and dont forget fernando had a really long pit stop on his first stop. losing well over 5 seconds.

        vettel has had the luxury of amazing pit stops this season. always 1-1.5 quicker than mclaren or ferrari. If u times that by 3 or 4 thats alot of free time being given away. Eventually they were going to make an error….and fernando took great advantage of it

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 12th July 2011, 23:11

      Judging by how much of a gap Alonso pulled out i’m tempted to say that I reckon Alonso could have done it anyway.

  10. Gnarly Racing said on 11th July 2011, 19:50

    So, did anyone feel cheated because the drivers didn’t have to use both types of tyre?! This race showed what a nonsense that rule is. There’s more than enough difference between the performance of a new option tyre and a used one to make it a satisfying tactical battle. I think only Paul di Resta used the harder prime tyre, which explained why he made no progress at all in the second half of the race.

    If ever there was a rule needed changing mid-season, it’s that one. And maybe give the top ten an extra set of tyres to qualify on?

  11. michael robinson said on 11th July 2011, 21:15

    I notice nobodys mentioned that Ferrari won only after the rule changes,do you not think because of 60th aniversary,FIA (ferrari international assistance),bent the rules to suit them.
    Its back to normal at Nurburgring!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • 1 of the 3 said on 11th July 2011, 21:39

      Niccolo Machiavelli would be proud of luca di montezemo. 500 years of doing what you’ve got to do to win. But I guess that’s what tradition is all about…

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 11th July 2011, 21:40

      Murray Walker was wrong. The 4 worst words in motorsport are “FIA – Ferrari International Assistance”, since it is so frickin’ mundane and tiresome.

    • Laranja Mecanica said on 11th July 2011, 22:40

      Uh-oh, you forgot the”faster than you” mantra. No brownie points for you today.

    • Rob2 said on 12th July 2011, 14:04

      Funny how the team who didnt try to push the rule through, and instead said they are fine with both are the team who get bashed.

  12. Robbie said on 12th July 2011, 2:29

    I’m not convinced yet that Ferrari is in a resergence…if this was a dry race and FA had the same result then perhaps we would be seeing more of him near the front on Sunday’s to come but I don’t know and need to see more due to the recent rule change that perhaps suited Ferrari as they were quite silent vs. Red Bull’s protestations, not to mentionthe variable weather and the rare mistake with SV’s pit.

    Let’s see how the next few races go to see if FA is genuinely fighting the Red Bulls now…and if he is, I think that would be great.

  13. Robbie said on 12th July 2011, 2:47

    DavidA…just wanted to rib you a bit about Ferrari International Assistance (a phrase I’ve never actually used) and your comment about that being mundane and tiresome…guess I must not be the only one then, huh?
    Anyway, for the record it is really strictly the MS/Ferrari era with Max at the helm that I take issue with, and once MS was gone I feel Ferrari went back to better behaviour to both their drivers and I believe Ferrari is much more ‘just one of the teams in F1′ if you will, and I believe that even with Todt now at the helm.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 12th July 2011, 13:53

      The reason I took issue with your posts is because I got the impression that your comments on Schumacher were excessively harsh, as despite his flaws, he has produced some of the finest driving and racing the sport has ever seen. It is ok not to like the guy.

      I agree that in this case, accusing the FIA of Ferrari International Assistance is incorrect, as this year the FIA have been largely impartial. Nothing can really held against Ferrari since the rules are changing back for the next round.

  14. US_Peter said on 12th July 2011, 4:10

    It would be wrong to write off Ferrari’s resurgence in form in the British Grand Prix as being simply a consequence of the change in the diffuser rules.

    If that were the case, it’s doubtful the team would have agreed to a return to a Valencia-spec configuration at the next round.

    Very true. Alonso qualified 2nd in Canada and may well have been on the podium there had he not had that scuffle with Button. He was also mixing it up with Webber pretty well in Valencia. The signs were there for at least two races that they were making good progress.

  15. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 12th July 2011, 5:59

    It would be wrong to write off Ferrari’s resurgence in form in the British Grand Prix as being simply a consequence of the change in the diffuser rules.

    Maybe. But it’s a case of too little, too late. Sebastian Vettel currently has 204 points, while Alonso has 112. That means he needs four more wins without Vettel scoring a single point just to re-take the championship lead. Which is incredibly unlikely. Even if the Ferrari F150-degrees Italia is now the best car on the grid and the Red Bull RB7 is second, Alonso is going to have to win practically every race between the Nurburgring and Abu Dhabi (and have a couple of other results) just to be in the title fight by the time we get to Interlagos – which he would need to win – because Vettel can win the championship as early as the Japanese Grand Prix and has a big enough points buffer that if he does not take the title in Japan, he will still be able to win it in one stroke at the remaining four races of the season.

    • bananarama said on 12th July 2011, 10:52

      That is all REALLY unlikely .. but wouldn’t it be awesome?! I mean, just from a viewers perspective (and BErnies aswell) thar would be spectacular if Alonso goes on to win the next 8 races and Vettel has like one DNF in the meantime and Hamilton getting a second place twice. If I calculated that right that would bring down the gap to just 6 points, so Alonso could win the championship by winning in Brazil. To be honest, its hard to believe but it would be a fantastic story, wouldn’t it?!

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.