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 time comparison (Q3)||1’30.516 (-0.608)||1’31.124|
Ferrari drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):
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?óÔé¼Ôäós true that the actual result was better in Canada ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ second ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ 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.”
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.
2011 British Grand Prix
- 2011 British Grand Prix: complete race weekend review
- Vote for your British Grand Prix driver of the weekend
- Red Bull: Webber made a number two driver again
- Ferrari back on form after poor start to 2011
- McLaren: Fuel and pit errors add to problems
- Renault: Heidfeld salvages points from poor weekend
- Mercedes pass Renault in the championship
- Force India squander points chance
- Sauber: Perez claims best-ever result
- Toro Rosso: Alguersuari battles Buemi for point
Image ?é?® Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo