2011 Singapore GP team review
Fernando Alonso urged Ferrari to try “experimental things” in final races after taking a distant fourth.
|Fernando Alonso||Felipe Massa|
|Qualifying time comparison (Q3)||1’44.874 (-0.926)||1’45.800|
Ferrari drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):
|Start tyre||Super soft|
|Pit stop 1||Soft 30.621s|
|Pit stop 2||Soft 30.387s|
|Pit stop 3||Super soft 29.972s|
Alonso declared himself pleased with his effort for fifth on the grid: “I think that might have been my best Q3 lap of the whole year.
“I gave it 120%, taking risks in some corners, but that was the only way I could hope to fight for the top places. If I’d driven a normal lap, I would have finished in the same position, but half a second off the two McLarens, rather than less than a tenth.”
At the start he passed the two cars in front of him who started off the racing line, moving up to third behind Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button. But he never looked like being part of that race.
Instead he quickly slipped back into Mark Webber’s clutches as his super soft tyres went off. Webber picked his way past on lap nine as Alonso made for the pit lane.
Alonso ended up back in front of Webber via the pit stops, but after the safety car came in Webber dived past the Ferrari once more at turn ten.
That consigned him to finishing off the podium for the first time at Singapore.
The safety car partly disguised how far Ferrari were off the pace at Singapore. Before it came out Alonso was 37 seconds adrift and at the end of the race he was 55 seconds behind Vettel – indicating he was losing well over a second per lap on average.
Afterwards Alonso said he wants the team to prioritise developments for 2012 in the final races of the year:
“We’re racing with McLaren, some races, and sometimes with Mercedes. So at the moment the drivers’ championship, obviously, is gone, and the constructors’ championship is also extremely difficult for us to catch McLaren.
“So we are in a point that from behind there is no threat, in front there is very difficult opportunities for us to catch. So the last five races we will try to get the opportunity in the races we are competitive.
“We will try to enjoy and for sure they will be like some test of 2012 already because with very little testing in February we have to use the last five races to try some experimental things.”
|Start tyre||Super soft|
|Pit stop 1||Soft 30.29s|
|Pit stop 2||Soft 32.351s|
|Pit stop 3||Super soft 30.478s|
|Pit stop 4||Soft 30.983s|
Alonso’s usual margin over Massa ballooned to almost a full second in qualifying.
Massa also had a run-in with Hamilton during the session: “I don’t understand why he wanted to pass at all costs: we were all in a line on our ‘out’ lap and there was nothing to be gained from acting like that.”
That was nothing compared to what happened in the race. Massa had moved up to fifth at the start at the expense of Hamilton, but by lap nine the McLaren was close enough to use DRS to attack the Ferrari.
Hamilton was trying to pass at Memorial corner on lap 12 when he hit Massa’s right-rear tyre, causing a puncture. Massa had to limp to the pits to get a replacement.
Massa confronted Hamilton in the media area after the race and later said: “I tried to talk to him to clear the air but he walked away without even answering: so I told him what I thought when we found ourselves in the interview area.”
The timing of the safety car further delayed Massa – he had pitted for super soft tyres five laps earlier, but under the safety car several of his closest competitors put on soft tyres that would see them through to the end of the race.
That left him needing to fight back through the field after his final pit stop. He was handed a couple of places when Pastor Maldonado and Sebastien Buemi pitted, then passed Rubens Barrichello and, on the last lap, Sergio Perez to take ninth place:
“I lost some time behind Barrichello and then I had to let Vettel by, which meant I was a lap down on him and had lost any chance of finishing seventh, given that Sutil and Rosberg in front of me were struggling with their tyres.
“I would really like to have a trouble free race at some point, something that I have not experienced recently, if you look at Monza for example.”
2011 Singapore Grand Prix
- Vettel and Button take Driver of the Weekend wins
- Rate the race result: 2011 Singapore Grand Prix
- Ferrari deny Massa told to cause Hamilton crash
- From Kovalainen’s fire to fireworks: your Singapore videos
- 2011 Singapore Grand Prix: complete race weekend review
- Vote for your Singapore GP driver of the weekend
- Red Bull: Vettel supreme as championship beckons
- McLaren: Another collision, another penalty for Hamilton
- Ferrari: Alonso wants to focus on 2012 in last races
- Force India: Di Resta claims best result yet
Image © Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo, Singapore GP/Sutton