Malaysian GP — Alonso triumphs in Sepang
Scuderia Ferrari won the Malaysian Grand Prix thanks to yet another extraordinary performance from Fernando Alonso. This is win number 217 from 833 Grands Prix contested in the Scuderia’s history. It thus brings the number of consecutive years in which the team has managed to win at least one Grand Prix to nineteen. This is the sixth win at Sepang and number 28 for Fernando Alonso who had already finished first here on two previous occasions. Thanks to the 25 points he takes away today, Fernando returns to Europe, leading the Drivers’ Championship, while Felipe, who finished fifteenth has yet to score a point. The Scuderia is third in the Constructors’ classification.
Stefano Domenicali: “An incredible win, absolutely unexpected, but that does not make it any less wonderful and emotional! Once again, Fernando was amazing, driving with a cool head and determination, managing to get the very best out of this car and of the very changeable weather conditions. Today’s victory does not change a jot in terms of our situation: we know that, at the moment, we do not have a car competitive enough to fight for the win under normal conditions and that we have a lot of work to do to catch up. Clearly this win gives us even more motivation, because it shows that this championship is not at all clear cut and anything can happen. A slight improvement in performance can result in a good step forward compared to other teams. Felipe suffered too much with degradation on his front tyres, which led to him making one more stop than his team-mate: this is a particularly difficult moment for him, because he cannot get the most out of a car that, objectively, is very difficult to drive. We have an obligation to stay close to him, which is as it should be in such a closely knit team. Now we will enjoy this moment for a few hours, but tomorrow we must be back in the factory again pushing on the development of this F2012. Finally I want to congratulate Sauber, who today secured their best ever result and congratulations also to Sergio Perez, a youngster from the Ferrari Driver Academy, who today confirmed his great talent.”
Fernando Alonso: “It was an incredible race! I am very happy, for me and for the whole team: I am proud of this fantastic group of people. While we have been going through this difficult time, no one gave up, in fact everyone has doubled their efforts to try and catch up. The strategy was perfect, the mechanics did an impeccable job, the engineers did their best in preparing the car and I drove at my maximum for all 56 laps of the race. I would never have bet on this win and I would think anyone who did so must have picked up a tidy sum! As I returned to the pit lane on the cool down lap I didn’t even know where to park the car: to win with all the problems we have got is something quite extraordinary. In the wet, I was going very well, but then when the track dried out, our weaknesses showed themselves. Sergio got very close and I was trying to stay on the only dry line: if he wanted to pass me, he would have had to take a risk. Yesterday, he and I ended up ninth and tenth and today we found ourselves fighting for the win, which shows how unpredictable is this championship. Our aim was damage limitation for these early races of the championship and now we even find ourselves leading the classification. Now we absolutely have to improve the performance starting right away with the races in China and Bahrain. We must get back to work immediately so as to find at least the two or three tenths that could put us back in the fight for the top places.”
Felipe Massa: “First of all, I want to congratulate Fernando on this great win, which came thanks to him driving a fantastic race. It is a very important victory for the team, although it must not let us forget that our car is not yet at the level of the best. Obviously I am disappointed with my result. Things were going well at the start and I was able to fight with the drivers directly ahead of me. When the track was drying, I suffered more and more with tyre degradation and I could not maintain a good pace. We opted to follow what Rosberg was doing ahead of me, as he too was apparently struggling with his tyres, but it did not work out and we lost a lot of time with this extra stop, given also that the others stayed on track for around a dozen laps more before switching to the dry tyres. It is important for us to try and understand why there is such a strong difference in the way our cars perform, but ultimately, our aim is to have a more competitive car in as short a time as possible.”
Pat Fry: “This win is a wonderful reward for all the efforts we are making here at the track and back home at the factory to try and turn around a season that immediately saw us facing an uphill struggle. However, this result must not be seen as a case of all our problems having unexpectedly solved themselves: that’s not the case and everyone is aware of it. Fernando drove a fantastic race, pushing throughout the entire time, always being very careful but never overdoing it. The F2012 seemed to behave very differently depending on the conditions in which it was running: today, there were moments when it was absolutely competitive, others when it struggled. We had already seen in Melbourne on Friday that on a damp track, the situation was not bad and today it went even better. Towards the end, Perez was very quick, partly because his Hards were working better in these conditions than Fernando’s mediums. Another decisive factor in today’s win was the work in the pits and on the pit wall: at every pit stop, Fernando managed either to make up places or to stay ahead of his pursuers. Felipe made a good start but suffered quite badly with the front tyres as the track was drying. We tried to remedy the situation, bringing him for an extra stop and clearly that cost him valuable time. We must try and understand why, for him, the car ends up being even more unstable in terms of its handling compared to the way it works for his team-mate: it is one of our tasks for these coming days along with obviously trying to find the tenths in performance terms that we are still lacking.”
Brazilian GP - Just off the podium.
Alonso: "Proud of the team anyway"
Twenty two points for Scuderia Ferrari in the final race of the season, through a fourth place for Fernando Alonso and a fifth for Felipe Massa. Despite the adverse weather forecast, the race was run entirely in the dry. The two Ferrari men ran different strategies, but the difference was more down to circumstance than to choice, given that Felipe had one less set of Soft tyres than his team-mate. The result of this race means Fernando has dropped off the last podium position in the Drivers’ Championship to finish fourth, while Felipe ends the year sixth.
Fernando Alonso: “Yet another race in which we did everything to perfection, from the start to the strategy and the work of the team. The final result is more down to the performance of the others than our own, because we could not have done more. Once again today, we got a very good start, putting a nice passing move on Button, but then, on the Medium tyres, we no longer had the speed to fend him off. I also had a problem with the DRS which would not activate: I was not fighting closely with other drivers, but it would certainly have helped me gain a few tenths while overtaking. This Grand Prix produced an accurate reflection of the season: we have almost always done our maximum, fighting for a podium finish in a car that was not as good as the top two. In terms of team work we grew a lot in 2011 and we must absolutely make this the starting point for a very different 2012. If I had to score our performance, I can but repeat what President Montezemolo said, giving us something between a five and six, but all the same I am proud of what the team was able to do. We need a car that is about five or six tenths quicker: achieving that won’t be a walk in the park, but I have every confidence in our engineers and in a team that dominated the last decade in Formula 1 and holds every possible record in this sport. Let us not forget that I managed to get on the podium ten times and to score more points than last year. Losing out on third in the Drivers’ Championship is definitely not a big problem: first place is the only one that really counts.”.
Felipe Massa: “It was a difficult race, at the end of a weekend that was not the best from a technical point of view. We never managed to find the right balance and then came the sting in the tail with the puncture we discovered yesterday which robbed me of a set of Softs for the race and thus meant I had to make only two stops. I knew it would cost me because I would have to do a lot of laps on the Medium, a tyre with which we have a bigger performance gap than on the Softs when compared to our closest competitors. Sure, I would have liked to celebrate my one hundredth Grand Prix with Ferrari with a much different result, but I have to accept the way things went. In fact, the race pretty much summed up the season: reasonably good on the Soft, then struggling on the harder compound. I was very pleased to feel the affection of the crowd, who supported me from the start to the end of the weekend. It’s been a difficult year for me and the team and now we can turn the page. We must work on improving the car and I will do all I can to never have such a disappointing season again. I want to say I was pleased that Lewis came round to see me while I was talking to the journalists: it was a very nice gesture on his part. What do I want from Father Christmas? Along with Felipinho, I will be writing and asking for a fantastic car right from start to finish in 2012.”.
Monza, 11 September – After 53 of the most thrilling Formula 1 laps witnessed in many years, the loyal Ferrari “tifosi” were able to charge onto the track in their thousands to cheer a Prancing Horse driver on the magnificent podium which hangs over the Monza pit lane. For the second year in succession, Fernando Alonso was able to savour the special moment. In 2010 he was there as the winner and this year the Spaniard was third, which was the best possible result on the day for Ferrari on its home track. Sebastian Vettel won the race and the Red Bull driver now only needs one more podium finish to clinch his second consecutive title. In second place was McLaren’s Jenson Button. The result sees Fernando go second in the classification on 172 points, a mere five points ahead of Button and Mark Webber, who crashed out of today’s race. Felipe Massa finished in his grid position, sixth, but he too would have been fighting at the front had it not been for a spin in the early stages when the blameless Brazilian was nudged by Webber.
Monza is the last European race of the year and the Circuit will now move to Singapore and finish the 2011 season overseas.
SILVERSTONE, September 11th - Giancarlo Fisichella and Gianmaria Bruni have been crowned champions of the Le Mans Series 2011. The two Italian drivers, in AF Corse’s Ferrari 458 Italia, won the Silverstone race gaining the necessary points to win the most important continental championship for GT cars and prototypes. Their victory comes with one race left of the season.
"It’s fantastic to win the Le Mans Series,” Gimmi Bruni explains. “We worked hard with the team to improve the eighth place on the starting grid. We did it. We wanted this victory after a very difficult and tough race. It’s been a great year."
"Taking first place in the championship and after the Silverstone race is the result of fantastic work from everybody – mechanics, engineers and all the other people on the team,” adds Giancarlo Fisichella. “The car was fast, the pit stops were lightning quick and everything went according to plan. Winning this championship in my second year of racing GT cars is very satisfying.”
Scuderia Ferrari and Fernando Alonso’s run of four consecutive podium finishes came to an end at Spa-Francorchamps, even though the Spaniard fought right to the last lap for a top three result, before having to settle for fourth place. Felipe Massa’s race was ruined by an unexpected puncture which meant he had to make an unplanned stop on his way to finishing eighth. Fernando made two pit stops: having started on the Soft tyres, he then fitted a second set of Soft and one of the Medium. Felipe also started on the Softs and initially followed a similar strategy, except that he had to fit an additional set of the Mediums, because of the aforementioned puncture.
Fernando Alonso: “It would have been difficult to do better than this fourth place today, especially given how much we suffered on the Medium tyres: in these conditions, we are a second and a half slower than the best. Honestly, I didn’t think I had a real chance of winning, but a podium was within our grasp. The strategy saw me lead in the early stages, but then, we knew that in the final part, we would have struggled more. I had fun in the first stint: the start was good and then I had some nice duels. A shame about the podium: it was our target and was possible, despite qualifying eighth yesterday.”
Another podium, the sixth of the season for Fernando Alonso and Scuderia Ferrari and another points finish for Felipe Massa, his eighth of 2011. The result does not change the positions in either championship (Fernando fourth and Felipe sixth in the Drivers’ and the Scuderia third in the Constructors’.) And confirming the positive trend, the Spaniard is still the driver to have picked up the most points of all drivers over the past four races.
Stefano Domenicali: Stefano Domenicali: “All things considered, we can be reasonably pleased with the way things went. Certainly, going into the race, maybe we had hoped to get a little bit more out of it, but this seems to be the wettest July in the history of Formula 1! I don’t know if that is really the case, but it’s a fact that the last three races have all been run in the conditions that suit us the least. Having said that, the race was marked by incidents which, for better or for worse, made the difference. Therefore having managed to get to the podium in these circumstances is still positive and we can consider that our glass is half full. I am confident in the belief that, after the summer break, we will have every chance of getting some nice results. The championship would be very open without Vettel, but we will continue to fight for the title until it is mathematically impossible. Now we will push on as hard as we can next week, before the summer shut down, to be as well prepared as possible for the Belgian Grand Prix.”
Fernando Alonso: “Another podium finish, the fourth in a row: we have been competitive on four tracks with different characteristics and certainly this July, in weather that definitely does not suit our car. So that gives me confidence for the rest of the championship, even if now I can’t wait to pause for breath. It has been a very busy and stressful July and I think that everyone, especially the team members, deserve a couple of weeks holiday. When we start again, let’s hope we finally get some warm weather, even though that cannot be taken for granted at Spa.”
For the second consecutive grand prix, Scuderia Ferrari comes away from a race weekend with the biggest points haul: it picked up 35 in England and 28 today, courtesy of a second place for Fernando Alonso and a fifth-place finish for Felipe Massa. After ten races, Fernando is fourth in the Drivers’ classification and Felipe is sixth. The team has consolidated its third place in the Constructors’ Championship.
Stefano Domenicali: “A positive team result at the end of a great race, which was very exciting and in which both our drivers delivered a very good performance. The weather was the worst it could be for us and to have been in the fight for the win right to the end of the race is significant. We are working in the right direction and we have to continue like this, while realising we have to raise our performance level still further.”
Fernando Alonso: “After a second place like this, it’s easy to say that it could have been better, but I am pleased nevertheless. We must improve in qualifying, because we have a very strong race pace and I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. Everything went well today: the start, the pit stops and the strategy. We still lack something on Saturdays, because yesterday we were three or four tenths away, but I am confident we can also improve on this front. Today, Hamilton was quicker and so well done to him and his team: when I was behind him I was pushing as hard as I could, but I could not get very close. Even though I came out ahead of him at the second pit stop, I had absolutely no grip and he managed to pass me round the outside: immediately he then built up a lead of a few seconds. Today, we were clearly superior to the Red Bulls in terms of performance and this is important, given where we were at the start of the championship. That does not mean it will be the same in the coming races, but the situation is getting back to normal.”
Scuderia Ferrari claimed its first win of the year thanks to Fernando Alonso on the very same track where, 60 years ago, José Froilan Gonzalez recorded the team’s first ever win. Today’s victory is number 216 from 821 starts for Ferrari, of which 16 of them have come at the British Grand Prix. This is Fernando’s second victory at Silverstone, his 27th win from 168 starts, which puts him level with Jackie Stewart in fifth place in the list of all-time winners. Today’s result means that a Ferrari driver has been on the list of winners every year for the past eighteen championships.
Fernando Alonso: “What a wonderful surprise! The team did an amazing job and I dedicate this win to everyone at Maranello and at the track, whose work has allowed me and Felipe to drive such a good car. It is a very special win because it comes at a legendary track like Silverstone, in front of a crowd that is so enthusiastic about cars. Also, the track characteristics were not really suited to our car, but clearly, the improvements we brought here helped a lot.”
Double win for the FERRARI 458 AF CORSE TEAM at Imola
Thanks to Vilander-Melo victory and second place going to Fisichella-Bruni
IMOLA, July 3rd
There was a double victory for AF Corse team at the “Six Hours of Imola”, the result of which counts towards the Le Mans Series and the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup. Toni Vilander and Jaime Melo finished the endurance race in first place in the GTE Pro class, while second place went to Giancarlo Fisichella and Gianmaria Bruni. Both pairs race with Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 in the championships.
Valencia, 26 June
Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro took its third podium finish of the season at the Valencia street circuit, as Fernando Alonso finished second. Having started from fourth on the grid, the Spaniard made up a place at the start and then overtook and stayed ahead of Red Bull’s Mark Webber, whose team-mate Sebastian Vettel won the race. In the other Ferrari, Felipe Massa came home in fifth.
Fisichella, Bruni and Vilander come second in race of the year. They finish on the prestigious podium following 24 hours of Le Mans race.
June 13, 2011
Le Mans, June 12th — Giancarlo Fisichella, Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander finished the GTE Pro category of the 24 Hour of Le Mans race in second place in their Ferrari F458 GTE Pro.
They failed to make the fastest lap for pole position, but from the very beginning of the endurance race Bruni took the lead. On lap 15 an Audi was involved in a serious accident and Bruni lost the lead following the introduction of the safety car.
The AF Corse drivers then started a remarkable comeback to regain the lead between the 17th and 22nd hours of the race. The Ferrari F458 then suffered a minor technical problem meaning they had to settle for 2nd place. The result is still very prestigious because the 24 Hours of Le Mans is easily the most important endurance race in the world.
May 30, 2011
At the end of a truly hectic race, Fernando Alonso delivered Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro its second podium of the season, after he finished second in the sixth round of the Formula 1 World Championship. Winner of an unpredictable Monaco Grand Prix was Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull, with Jenson Button third for McLaren behind the Spaniard in his 150? Italia. Felipe Massa was less fortunate in the other Ferrari, knocked out of the race by a move from Lewis Hamilton in the McLaren.
The Formula 1 Circus is back in action in a fortnight at the Canadian Grand Prix at the Gilles Villeneuve circuit in Montreal.
Fernando Alonso: “This is my best result of the year and I think it is very important, especially for the team. A podium was needed, we needed to be fighting to the end for the win. Sure, this is not a typical circuit and we should not draw conclusions from a race that always produces its own story. We must close down the distance that separates us from the best: in Canada, we will have some updates on the car and we hope they will prove useful. I got a good start: if there had been a bit more room, maybe I could have done the same as in Spain. Then I tried to look after the tyres, before attacking Vettel at the very end, but then came the red flag and that meant it was over, because on new tyres, he was impossible to beat. Unfortunately, these sort of things can always happen here and they are part of the character of this Grand Prix. We must be pleased with this result and look to Montreal and Valencia, two races where we went well last year, with confidence. The gap in the championship is very big, but there is still a long way to go.”
May 11, 2011
First podium of the season for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, thanks to Fernando Alonso finishing third, ten seconds behind the winner. Unfortunately, today also saw the team’s first non-scoring finish with Felipe Massa coming home just outside the points in eleventh place at the end of a race that was plagued by various problems. The drivers’ positions in the championship remain unchanged – with Fernando in fifth and Felipe in sixth – the same goes for Scuderia’s third place in the corresponding Constructors championship.
Stefano Domenicali: “It’s been a very long time since we last saw one of our drivers on the podium and today, finally, we were able to. Fernando drove a very nice race, to crown a great weekend on his part: he did not put a foot wrong and was aggressive when he needed to be and prudent when he had to manage the situation. I am very sorry for Felipe, who had every possibility of also getting a good result. We had already seen in the three previous races that the 150? Italia seemed to be the more beautiful sister of the one seen on Saturday afternoon in qualifying, but for one reason or another, in the first three Grands Prix, we never managed to make the most of all its potential. Today we were competitive for long periods and if Fernando had not been stuck behind Rosberg for a few laps after the start, he could have put Vettel under even more pressure. We must definitely not get carried away with this third place: the road is still very long and there is still a very long way to go to where we want to be. At least we have shown that we have started off down the right road.”
Fernando Alonso: “I am pleased with this result, which is down to three weeks of hard work from the entire team at Maranello and at the track this weekend. We had not started this Grand Prix on the right foot, after having quite a few problems on Friday, but then we moved forward and today it was great to be back fighting for the top places. We had come so close to the podium already in Malaysia and in China and today we managed to jump onto it, but this is only a first step: we must continue in this direction. Given the shape we were in at the start of this season, this is a great finish. The next three or four races will be crucial. At 99% I could not have fought with Vettel, but the remaining 1% went when I was stuck behind Rosberg for too long: maybe I could have put him in difficulty, forcing him to push even more. In the end, Webber passed me because he had the benefit of a new set of tyres, while I had none left. I know it seems strange having to stop eleven laps from the finish, but it was getting hard to keep the car on track and there was a risk of ruining everything. There is more overtaking, but I think that has more to do with the different behaviour of the tyres rather than the moveable rear wing. It’s true that the gap in the classification is very wide, but there are still so many points up for grabs: there is certainly no need to give up.”
April 18, 2011
Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso finished sixth and seventh respectively in the Chinese Grand Prix. While motor sport is never really predictable, to some extent this less than satisfactory result for Scuderia Ferrari could have been suggested prior to the start. The places ahead of our Brazilian driver were filled by the two Red Bulls, the two McLarens and, one Mercedes, a team that had shown signs of a big step forward right from free practice earlier in the weekend.
Tyres again played a vital role with the winner pitting three times, although Fernando did not feel the fact he was on a two stop would have made much difference to his final placing. Felipe on the other hand did concede that an additional tyre change might have allowed him to fight off a few more of those who got past him in the final stages, while adding he felt this was his best race drive for quite some time.
The Brazilian was particularly competitive, running as high as second with the run of pit stops, while Fernando seemed to spend the entire race fighting Schumacher: the early battle was the one that did the damage as it came after the Spaniard’s first pit stop and stuck behind the Mercedes, he lost touch with the leaders. Then towards the end of the race, it was Schumacher, now behind the Ferrari, who was trying to pass, but without success.
So that’s the first three races, the first trio of “flyaways” done and dusted. Scuderia Ferrari is third in the championship, but big improvements are needed and that is exactly what the team is working on for the next round in Istanbul, Turkey at the beginning of May.
April 11, 2011
Felipe Massa finished the second round of the world championship in fifth position, one place off his Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro team-mate, Fernando Alonso. However, these bare facts hide the true story of the race that provided plenty of excitement for the fans, even without the much awaited Sepang storm and in which both Ferrari men had genuine opportunities to finish on the podium. In the end, a malfunction of Alonso’s adjustable rear wing meant a straightforward passing move on Hamilton became a titanic and thrilling struggle between two worthy opponents. It ended when the Spaniard clipped the rear of the Englishman’s car, which forced the Ferrari driver to make an extra unscheduled stop for a new nose. Felipe too put in a spirited drive, although a slow pit stop dropped him down the order and in the end, Webber on fresher tyres was able to sneak past the Brazilian who had battled his way back to fourth, but had to settle for that fifth place. Eighteen points mean the Scuderia is still third in the Constructors’ Championship on 36 points, 14 behind McLaren and with half the number of Red Bull Racing the leaders on 72.
For Scuderia Ferrari, the obvious conclusion, now reached in both races so far, is that the pace of the Maranello car is much better in the race than in qualifying. This alone will not be enough to win races and there has been plenty of talk all this weekend from senior personnel in the team, indicating that the technical battle is only just beginning,as everyone in the factory prepares to ramp up efforts in developing the car. Already there are updates making their way to Shanghai where the Chinese Grand Prix takes place in just one week’s time.
TEST PAUL RICARD 2011
14 March 2011
AF Corse’s 2011 season begins on March 11-12 with official testing for the Le Mans Series at the Paul Ricard circuit (Le Castellet, France). The team is the only representative from Italy in the prestigious international championship and lines up three Ferrari cars for the upcoming test. The first is the brand new F458 Italia GT2 driven by Giancarlo Fisichella, Scuderia Ferrari’s third F1 driver, and Gianmaria Bruni, Fia GT2 world champion in 2008. The GT2 version of the 458 will make its track debut competing in the GTE Pro category. The other two cars lined up for the Le Mans Series, both in the Pro AM category, are Ferrari F430s driven by Giuseppe Perazzini-Marco Cioci/Stephane Lemeret and Robert Kauffman/Michael Waltrip-Rui Aguas. However, the AF Corse team that is lined up for this official test is not yet the definitive one for the season. Before the first race, another F458 Italia will join the Ferrari fleet. The second GT2 of the Italian team will be driven by Toni Vilander and Jaime Melo and, as is always the case with GT2s, will compete in the GTE Pro category. But the track-related events do not stop there for the Amato Ferrari team – among other things still to be revealed is the schedule for the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans race. Read More
Abu Dhabi GP - An unexpected damp start
Abu Dhabi, 12 November 2010
Just five days after the Brazilian Grand Prix, the Formula 1 engines were fired up once again at the Yas Marina Circuit, home to the nineteenth and final round of the Formula 1 World Championship. The two Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa finished the opening session in sixth (1.44.121) and eleventh (1.45.160) places respectively. Read More
Singapore GP - Alonso's brilliant win, Massa's great recovery
Maranello, 26 September 2010
Fernando Alonso did his championship chances a world of good under the Marina Bay floodlights by leading all sixty one laps of the Singapore Grand Prix to take an incredible win, his fourth of the season, his second at this track. Read More
Unsatisfied Ferrari prepares to react in Monza
Maranello, 30 August 2010
The day after a poor Belgian Grand Prix for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, the overriding sentiment in Maranello is that the weekend had been unsatisfactory. Read More