Fernando Alonso, Mark Webber, Hungaroring, 2011

Ferrari: Alonso salvages podium after Webber delay

2011 Hungarian GP team reviewPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Once again the Ferraris found the cooler conditions not to their liking.

Alonso had an eventful race with a few off-track moments but survived to claim third. Team mate Massa had a brush with the barriers which left him sixth.

Fernando Alonso Felipe Massa
Qualifying position 5 4
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’20.365 (+0.015) 1’20.350
Race position 3 6
Laps 70/70 70/70
Pit stops 4 4

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
Fernando Alonso 118.904 109.175 106.88 108.134 104.978 105.006 101.825 102.638 100.334 99.906 99.518 101.533 120.137 93.422 91.126 89.699 88.622 88.814 90.593 87.866 88.043 87.944 88.123 88.066 90.74 108.847 85.969 86.15 86.838 86.425 86.684 86.916 87.084 88.117 87.973 88.83 101.288 84.718 85.058 85.488 85.043 85.602 86.346 86.706 87.892 87.839 93.36 107.142 86.666 93.726 96.501 95.391 89.183 87.425 85.239 86.031 86.428 89.566 85.34 84.698 84.101 83.711 84.135 84.046 84.034 83.979 84.129 83.991 86.153 89.342
Felipe Massa 119.783 110.8 106.409 107.275 104.727 103.838 103.361 113.304 101.946 105.735 125.401 99.751 95.361 92.664 90.96 89.749 89.291 88.633 89.561 90.403 90.262 90.143 90.553 90.957 91.912 106.56 86.841 87.059 86.251 87.062 88.585 89.07 89.444 87.391 87.253 87.373 87.752 87.666 89.388 91.389 104.8 87.781 85.165 84.782 85.42 88.976 89.249 87.316 91.036 98.291 97.588 92.243 88.844 88.01 86.478 86.149 86.534 90.378 104.596 83.655 83.415 83.986 83.938 84.558 85.218 84.373 84.689 84.58 88.067 93.535
Fernando Alonso, Mark Webber, Hungaroring, 2011
Fernando Alonso, Mark Webber, Hungaroring, 2011

Fernando Alonso

Topped Q1 and Q2 but slumped to fifth in Q3, unable to better or even match his Q2 time.

But he felt that even with a perfect lap he could have done no better than third. He said: “It seems that when it?s time for Q3, Red Bull has a magic button that suddenly makes them go faster, but then it seems the button switches off in the race!”

Starting on the drier side of the grid, Alonso pulled away from Massa straight away at the start. But they both struggled for traction at the exit of turn one and the two Mercedes drove straight past them.

Alonso fended off Mark Webber and set off after Schumacher. He very nearly took his 2006 championship rival on the outside of turn 11, but eventually settled for a more conventional pass on the inside of the last corner.

Alonso made a couple of uncharacteristic mistakes in the opening phase of the race which delayed his pursuit of the Mercedes. He briefly fell behind Massa at one point, but his team mate made no effort to keep Alonso behind. By lap nine he was up to fourth place having passed Nico Rosberg twice.

Three laps later he was in for slicks. But the team had to hold him in his pit box as a Mercedes came past, and as he returned to the track he had Webber on his tail.

Webber had pitted two laps before Alonso used the advantage of his warmer tyres to out-accelerate the Ferrari from turn one and take the place.

They pitted together on lap 25, leaving Alonso stuck behind the Red Bull for another stint. “I think I lost half a minute behind Webber at the beginning of the race,” he said afterwards.

The team used an aggressive strategy to try to get Alonso ahead, bringing him in again after just 11 laps.

He switched to super-soft tyres, which he later accepted might have been a mistake: “Maybe the soft tyre was better than the supersoft,, especially for second or third stint, looking at the very high degradation.”

“But we found ourselves behind Mark for two stints and we had to anticipate the stops a lot so we came to overtake him.”

It got Alonso in front – but it left him needing another pit stop. It’s hard to judge how well it would have worked out for him had the track stayed dry as both Webber and Lewis Hamilton lost time pitting for intermediates when the rain arrived.

Alonso had just pitted for soft tyres when the rain came so he was inclined to stick with the tyres he’d got – which proved to be the right decision.

He closed on Vettel during the final stint but a spin at turn 12 cost him more time, leaving him third.

Alonso said he was happy with the result: “Again, we recovered two positions in the race and we were able to jump on the podium for the fourth consecutive race, I think. This is good again for us.

“The weekend was maybe not as expected: we maybe expected hotter temperature and more problems with degradation for our main competitors, but in the end it didn?t go like that.

“I think we have another ?ǣ for the third consecutive time ?ǣ difficult conditions for us, cold conditions and I think we reached another podium which is a good target for us every weekend. ”

Fernando Alonso 2011 form guide

Felipe Massa

Massa looked ragged on his first laps on the super-soft tyres in practice. But he got on top of it on Saturday afternoon, out-qualifying Alonso for the first time in 17 races to line up fourth.

Alonso and the Mercedes duo out-dragged him at the start, but he took a place back from Schumacher on lap four.

Four laps later he spun at turn two, nudging the barrier, and was fortunate to get away with only minor damage to his rear wing endplate. “I was scared the car might be too damaged to continue,” he said, “but my engineer told me I could keep going.”

Having slipped to ninth, and with the track drying out, Rob Smedley told Massa they could afford to gamble: “Just think about the fact that from where we are now we can probably take a bit of a risk.”

He was one of the first drivers into the pits for slick tyres, joining Webber, Vitaly Petrov and Rubens Barrichello on lap ten.

Massa’s stop was 1.4s slower than Webber’s and he lost a further 3.4s on his out-lap, which cancelled out any benefit from changing tyres early. It dropped him back behind Schumacher – despite the Mercedes driver staying out very long on his intermediates.

Massa made his next pit stop on lap 25 to jump Schumacher. It didn’t quite work – Schumacher came out ahead – but Massa was on him as they went into turn two. The Ferrari swept around the outside and Schumacher spun in avoidance.

That pit stop also jumped him in front of the other Mercedes of Rosberg and Massa rose to sixth after Kamui Kobayashi pitted.

Like Alonso, he did a third stint on super-soft tyres before switching to softs at the final stint. The recovering Webber and Hamilton passed him quite easily, leaving him sixth.

Felipe Massa 2011 form guide

2011 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Image ?? Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo