Ferrari: Alonso wants to focus on 2012 in last races

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 position 5 6
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’44.874 (-0.926) 1’45.800
Race position 4 9
Laps 61/61 60/61
Pit stops 3 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
Fernando Alonso 120.421 116.064 115.918 115.926 115.625 115.529 115.734 116.429 117.47 128.661 137.906 115.528 114.842 115.34 115.445 114.759 115.626 117.653 115.056 114.858 115.444 115.416 114.74 115.088 122.131 134.364 112.78 113.411 119.968 142.667 125.546 155.609 160.404 118.733 114.091 113.124 113.604 113.105 112.767 112.327 112.619 112.508 112.867 112.92 112.704 113.392 113.641 114.474 122.634 134.209 111.969 112.576 112.694 113.556 111.549 112.007 111.964 110.891 112.99 114.974 114.959
Felipe Massa 122.531 116.544 115.847 115.72 115.252 115.902 115.711 116.688 117.246 119.097 125.923 169.506 140.008 114.244 114.812 116.594 114.268 114.154 115.535 115.712 117.016 116.586 117.046 124.922 135.857 112.55 113.674 114.682 139.54 144.928 120.827 121.348 119.352 120.089 117.51 116.313 116.012 115.437 115.613 115.334 122.553 136.302 113.602 113.469 114.01 112.656 112.886 112.785 113.337 113.912 113.639 114.499 115.957 118.524 116.958 114.199 113.137 113.055 117.021 119.915

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Singapore, 2011

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Singapore, 2011

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.”

Fernando Alonso 2011 form guide

Felipe Massa

Felipe Massa, Lewis Hamilton, Singapore, 2011

Felipe Massa, Lewis Hamilton, Singapore, 2011

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.”

Felipe Massa 2011 form guide

2011 Singapore Grand Prix

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Image ?? Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo, Singapore GP/Sutton

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25 comments on Ferrari: Alonso wants to focus on 2012 in last races

  1. phenixita said on 26th September 2011, 19:39

    It will be interesting to see Ferrari testing and experimenting. I think that the other big teams will do the same.

  2. Title battle IS done so early, so big teams would use remaining races as in-season testing. I wish it helps Mclaren and Ferrai, also not much for Redbull! :D unfortunately they has not only the most advanced chassis but also the most affordable resource so it would favor Redbull again. I wish Mclaren and Ferrari are preparing sort of surpise party for Newey. If not…

  3. Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 26th September 2011, 20:03

    I really would like to see Ferrari take Alonso’s suggestion and begin doing some experimentation, at this point it can’t hurt. Also, how many times is it now that Hamilton has hit Massa this season, is 3?! No wonder Felipe is so mad.

  4. Massa was a bit of a prat for his sarcastic comment (even though I found it hilarious) but after the crash and then Lewis apparently ignoring it I can understand him blowing his top. I’d have had a right tantrum :P

    I’ve been pretty happy with Massa this year. He’s really improved on 2010 I think. However, I have changed my mind about him. I think he should see out this contract as he doesn’t deserve Ferrari to pull the rug from under him but if he doesn’t improve next year then he should definitely be replaced. I still love Massa but even if he loses the Ferrari drive maybe that’s what he needs and it’ll end up being good for him. Personally, I’d love to see him at Renault one day but I don’t see it happening.

    as his super soft tyres went off.

    Any one else sick of Ferrari’s problems with the tyres? :P

  5. To add to Massa’s misery, the tyre that Hamilton damaged was less than 1 lap old. When driving back to the pits he took 35 seconds more than on a regular out lap.
    Plus an extra pit, it delayed him more than one minute in total.
    Plus the bad luck with the safety car a few laps after he changed tyres…
    It means that he’s done well given the incidents.

  6. So if Alonso drove a “normal lap” he only qualifies .5s ahead of Massa.

    Mr. Perez, your car is ready.

    • Eggry (@eggry) said on 27th September 2011, 3:48

      or Button, I wish.

      • UKfanatic (@) said on 27th September 2011, 4:47

        Funny thing is that Button was usually 0.5 from Hamilton, I think Button is a really nice guy but Ferrari knows that Button is the type of guy that risks all for victories he is not overcautious and a champ contender.

  7. GameR_K (@gamer_k) said on 27th September 2011, 13:44

    Till the hit, his pace was good compared to the other Ferrari. After that it went downhill. For him to salvage some points is big thing. Too bad it won’t be considered a good effort.

  8. silverstoned said on 27th September 2011, 14:10

    before we congratulate our two pilots and wish them much success next time:

    How many races did Ferrari win 2011 with a competitive car that has had 2years development?
    How many races did Ferrari win 2009 with a dog of a car that they themselves abandoned mid season for heing bad beyond help?

    grazie prego

    • dkpiote said on 27th September 2011, 17:40

      it hasnt really been a competitive car, it has been 3rd best all year, with Alonsos great ability putting it higher at times. Why are you comparing to 2009?
      traction and/or tyre grip seems to be the main problem this year.

      • silverstoned said on 28th September 2011, 18:15

        dkp,
        why do I compare to 2009
        well, it occurrs to me that a simple comparison shows old Raikkonen who got the boot 2009, actually achieved a great deal for Ferrari: 1 wdc, 2 wccs, and p4 in the wcc more or less single-handedly after FM was off injured: that’s 1p lower than this year’s position.
        I’m not saying that FA is not doing a good job, just that it’s remarkable how well KR did for the team.

  9. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 27th September 2011, 21:26

    Was it Hamilton’s back right that exploded in qualifying? Rather weird if so, given which tyre he hit on Massa’s car.

    You can always rely on Alonso to say something sensible. Ferrari would do well to listen to him.

  10. Rhys Williams said on 28th September 2011, 14:21

    I agree

    The Ferrari this year has been a disappointment. Alosno is driving the wheels of that carI dont think any other driver in F1 could achieve what he has in that car. As for next year I hope Ferrari sort out the aero oof the car. As for Mmassa, his time at Ferrari shoud finish this season. Last year he was a terrible number two Alosno would have definately have won the WC if Massa had played a better supporting role.
    If I was Steffano Domillicalli or Di Montazemolo. I would get Button or Webber in the second car. No doubt!

    • Kiril Varbanov (@kiril-varbanov) said on 30th September 2011, 9:34

      For some reason they keep on insisting about Massa. Probably they just need a #2 driver to support Alonso.
      However, Massa doesn’t bring any significant points to the team and the difference with Alonso is just very visible.

  11. While I agree with FA that they should experiment with 2012 in mind, I question how much use that will be given that they will be building a new car and I only question how much will translate from this car to the new one. eg. they could try a new front wing but said wing will have an entirely different effect on a car with a new chassis, new underside, new sidepods, new rear wing, or what have you.

    But perhaps I am wrong and there are some things that can be gleened by experiementing, and if money is no object then they should go for it…but if money is an issue then to me they should just stay the course with this car and put their time and effort into the 2012 one.

    Bottom line for me…can they really see what a new component for 2012 car will do for them in 2012 on a 2011 car? Perhaps it is not about that but about an evolution in experiments to work toward things they can try once the 2012 car is built and driveable.

  12. TED BELL said on 29th September 2011, 1:03

    Here’s to hoping that Ferrari might have a Colin Chapman moment and actually bring something unique and effective for the 2012 campaign. I recall in preseason a number of promises for radical changes in some cars and they all pretty much look the same as the year before. Maybe the McLaren sidepods could be considered radical. The point is lets see something that challenges the RED BULL look. 2012 cars will most likely remain the same as 2011. When the new engine rule comes into play we will see some revolution but until then the copycats will be out in full force.

  13. Massa was 20th at certain point…

    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.

    I wish it too… But I reckon this is what Massa has been dreaming of for more than one year: http://www.f1.co.uk/read-news/2010/763/massa-wants-normal-trouble-free-race

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