Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Silverstone, 2011

Ferrari back on form after poor start to 2011

2011 British GP team reviewPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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

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Image ?? Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo