Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Monza, 2011

Ferrari: Alonso admits “the title is gone”

2011 Italian GP team reviewPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Fernando Alonso admits Sebastian Vettel won’t be beaten to this year’s title.

Fernando Alonso Felipe Massa
Qualifying position 4 6
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’22.841 (-0.347) 1’23.188
Race position 3 6
Laps 53/53 53/53
Pit stops 2 2

Ferrari drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):

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
Fernando Alonso 119.584 141.991 139.393 90.838 91.504 91.393 89.578 89.256 89.296 89.224 89.45 89.305 89.054 89.072 89.291 89.355 89.125 89.18 92.944 107.383 88.559 88.288 88.254 88.134 88.068 87.972 87.981 87.763 87.959 87.414 87.369 87.646 88.186 91.064 106.375 89.335 87.465 87.447 87.6 87.406 87.243 87.236 87.65 87.84 87.227 87.352 87.444 87.232 87.99 87.191 87.529 87.243 87.403
Felipe Massa 122.345 142.83 138.003 91.224 99.625 91.793 91.284 89.787 89.75 89.208 90.346 89.228 89.372 89.124 89.277 89.72 89.906 89.361 89.67 90.116 93.483 107.727 89.082 89.011 88.566 88.398 88.341 88.128 88.067 88.429 88.047 87.893 87.814 88.102 87.984 87.77 87.719 87.666 87.815 87.607 91.331 106.434 87.62 87.84 87.591 87.512 87.327 87.193 87.418 87.423 87.402 87.532 86.924

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Monza, 2011
Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Monza, 2011
Start tyre Soft
Pit stop 1 Soft 22.539s
Pit stop 2 Medium 21.989s

Alonso was surprised by his car’s improvement in qualifying: “We made a lot of changes to the set-up after each session and again this morning we were not satisfied.

“Then unexpectedly, in qualifying, the car improved and was more stable under braking and easier to drive, to the extent that we were always in the top four or five positions in each session.”

Alonso made a phenomenal start, a replay of his effort from Spain, where he also shot from fourth on the grid into the lead at the first corner.

But unlike in Spain he couldn’t keep the lead for any length of time. After the restart it took Sebastian Vettel little more than a lap to find a way by.

Alonso made it hard for Vettel: coming down the start/finish line at the beginning of lap five Alonso clearly changed his line twice trying to keep the Red Bull behind, a move that might have incurred a penalty had Vettel not made it by shortly afterwards.

Vettel drew along the Ferrari on the outside of Curva Grande, Alonso squeezing him onto the grass as they nudged 320kph (200mph), but unable to keep Vettel from the lead.

Alonso defended a brief challenge from Michael Schumacher shortly afterwards, but was protected from attack by the Mercedes who kept the McLarens at bay.

Jenson Button finally broke through and caught Alonso after the final round of pit stops.

As usual the Ferrari struggled for traction shortly after switching to the harder tyres and Button squeezed past at the inside of Curva Grande on lap 36. Alonso appeared to surrender to the inevitable, not using his KERS to defend the position.

Lewis Hamilton eroded Alonso’s eight second lead over the final 15 laps. He arrived on the Ferrari’s tail as the final tour began, but Alonso held on to give Ferrari a podium finish at their home race.

Alonso remains Vettel’s closest challenger in the championship but does not think the Red Bull can be beaten: “It?s true the title has gone now, but there is still great motivation: we want to win races and try to defend the position I have just reached in the drivers championship.”

Fernando Alonso 2011 form guide

Felipe Massa

Start tyre Soft
Pit stop 1 Soft 21.821s
Pit stop 2 Medium 22.148s

Having out-qualified Alonso in the last two races, Massa resumed his usual place behind his team mate at Monza: “In Q3, on my final run, I had got a good tow behind Michael, but then, I pushed a bit too much and lost precious time at the second chicane and the Lesmo corner.

“Maybe I could have been one or two places further up, but definitely nothing more than that.”

Massa moved up to fifth at the start but collided with Mark Webber when the Red Bull driver tried to pass him on lap five.

Webber had been fractionally ahead of Massa on the outside as they entered the Rettifilio. Massa took a wider line through the first part of the chicane, forcing Webber onto the kerbs, and from there the Red Bull driver could do little to avoid hitting the Ferrari.

Massa tried to lay the blame for the collision at Webber’s feet. But he also admitted he had braked late for the corner while off-line: “I braked slightly late, taking the inside line and, going round the outside, he would never have got past.”

While recovering, Massa then got involved in a collision with Jarno Trulli that was unseen by the TV cameras.

According to Trulli, Massa lost control of his car under braking at the della Roggia, pushing the Lotus in Sebastien Buemi. Massa does not appear to have offered his own version of events.

He quickly recovered several places, taking Heikki Kovalainen later on that lap, then Jaime Alguersuari, Paul di Resta, Sergio Perez and Pastor Maldonado.

He was back up to sixth by lap ten, but made little progress catching the cars in front of him, and finished there.

Felipe Massa 2011 form guide

2011 Italian Grand Prix

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Image ?? Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo