Ferrari: Alonso beats Red Bulls despite cool weather

2011 German GP team review

Falling temperatures at the Nurburgring did not help Ferrari – but even so Fernando Alonso was able to beat the Red Bulls.

Fernando Alonso Felipe Massa
Qualifying position 4 5
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’30.442 (-0.468) 1’30.910
Race position 2 5
Laps 60/60 60/60
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 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60
Fernando Alonso 103.129 100.439 98.576 98.505 98.047 98.509 98.1 97.998 97.647 97.676 98.196 98.461 99.462 99.054 98.237 100.19 115.061 97.667 97.236 96.977 96.679 96.726 96.394 96.897 96.258 96.457 96.565 96.368 96.252 96.49 96.602 98.281 113.237 95.821 95.369 95.469 95.295 95.217 95.213 95.356 95.412 95.886 95.076 95.568 95.656 95.214 95.111 95.468 95.119 95.127 95.366 95.81 97.993 111.807 95.081 94.936 95.108 94.683 95.154 94.626
Felipe Massa 105.272 100.133 99.57 99.264 99.453 99.176 99.249 98.927 99.075 99.74 99.873 99.275 98.435 99.402 100.121 100.399 100.979 114.156 97.299 98.994 99.121 96.804 96.566 96.559 96.68 96.833 97.398 96.664 96.953 96.886 96.842 96.683 97.054 97.093 96.857 97.2 97.201 97.296 97.355 97.338 99.032 114.209 95.569 95.527 95.53 95.36 94.986 94.89 94.715 95.304 94.609 94.85 96.559 95.753 95.272 95.654 95.292 95.036 97.67 116.594
Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Nurburgring, 2011

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Nurburgring, 2011

Fernando Alonso

Alonso looked strong throughout practice but he ended up fourth on the grid, extending his unbeaten streak against Massa this year.

He dived down the inside of Sebastian Vettel at the first corner for third, but understeered wide at turn two on the following lap and lost the place.

Alonso quickly got back on Vettel’s tail and on lap eight he was back down the inside of Vettel at turn one again to claim the place back.

Now he could set about chasing the leaders, and hacked half a second per lap out of them so that by lap 12 he, Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber were covered by less than a second.

Alonso’s second pit-stop was the third-fastest of any driver during the race – and it briefly propelled him into the lead. But Hamilton pounced and drove around the outside of the Ferrari to claimed second place. Even so, this was still a net gain for Alonso of one place gained from Webber.

His final pit stop was even quicker – the second best of the race – but it wasn’t enough to get him into the lead. He emerged back in second, ahead of Webber, for his third podium finish in a row.

After the chequered flag Alonso was told to stop as he was on the point of running out of fuel. He had enough for the FIA to test a sample and he was not penalised – nor, happily, for accepting a lift back to the pits on Webber’s sidepod.

Stefano Domenicali said the cool conditions compromised the car’s performance: “We have confirmed that we are also competitive in weather conditions that are not favourable and this is important.

“Certainly if we had had temperatures that aren?t even like summer ?ǣ but at least like spring ?ǣ I think that we could have had more chance!

“What we can do instead is to improve the way in which the car gets temperature into the tyres: it?s an aspect that is increasingly important, as we clearly saw yesterday at the second pit stop.

“We had managed to get Fernando out onto the track ahead of both Webber and Hamilton but he couldn?t defend as he would have liked from the Englishman?s attack ?ǣ simply because the tyres were too cold.”

Fernando Alonso 2011 form guide

Felipe Massa

Massa spent the opening laps trying to find a way past Nico Rosberg for fifth place, while being urged on by Rob Smedley on the radio.

The Mercedes was the quickest car in a straight line all weekend and it took Massa until lap 12 to get by. He finally got the job done on the way into turn one.

He then began catching Sebastian Vettel and four laps later Massa passed the Red Bull at the chicane – just before Vettel headed for the pits.

Massa held the position after he pitted on the next lap and spent the rest of the race keeping Vettel at arm’s length. He was successful – until the very last lap.

With both drivers needing to make the mandatory change to medium tyres on the last lap it came down to a battle of the pit crews. But a problem with the front-left wheel nut on Massa’s car cost him the place, leaving him fifth.

Felipe Massa 2011 form guide

2011 German Grand Prix

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64 comments on Ferrari: Alonso beats Red Bulls despite cool weather

  1. bosyber said on 26th July 2011, 20:44

    Ferrari didn’t win, but they got confirmation that their speed is there, and for both drivers. Really liked what Massa showed (well, I agree with Rob Smedley that getting past Rosberg sooner would have helped).

    Sad about that last pitstop, but considering Ferrari got the three fastest pit stops here (one for Massa, not just Alonso) and was fast in the UK too, their new system for it looks to be working on the whole team.

    Guess they won’t dislike that rainy weather Hungary has quite as much now as they would have dreaded it before; they might be better in the blazing heat, but they can get around and Red Bull isn’t too happy with the cold either it seems.

  2. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 28th July 2011, 19:33

    A good result for Ferrari, it’s good to see them do well. Lovely stuff between Massa and Vettel on the last lap, got my heart racing!

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