Advertising
Circuit Buddh International Circuit – Greater Noida
Date 27.10.2013
Laps 60
Distance 307,249 km / 190,956 miles
No Driver Ferrari S/N Team Result
3 Fernando Alonso F138 299 Scuderia Ferrari 11.
           
4 Felipe Massa F138 298 Scuderia Ferrari 4.

 

Indian GP – A race of two sides

Posted: 27.10.2013
Source: Ferrari

Stefano Domenicali: “First and foremost, it’s right and proper to congratulate Sebastian and Red Bull for their fourth consecutive world title. These are moments that we are well aware are extraordinary, but obviously, we hope that all the hard work we are doing aimed at the future, will be able to interrupt this run of success. Our race today was one of two sides: a positive one for Felipe, who drove a truly amazing opening lap and then Fernando’s, unfortunately ruined by a contact with Webber at the first corner. Without that, we would have brought home more points, which are vital if we want to finish second in the Constructors’ Championship. There are three races to go, everything is absolutely still possible and we have an obligation to push right to the end in a very close fight, for the runner-up position”.

Fernando Alonso: “Today, the problem I had on the first lap compromised my entire race, because we had to immediately change the nose and with one extra stop, without any opportunity to overtake, it was all an uphill struggle. In front of me, Webber touched someone and then me, then at turn 4 I also touched with Button. The steering felt very heavy in right hand turns and the only thing to do was pit. If you look at Webber’s race or Perez’s then I’d say our strategy was good, because when the others began to pit, those two were leading, but it’s also true that it went well for those who started on the Softs. I must congratulate Vettel, because in this, as in other sports, it’s the best that win. I’m a bit sad at not having scored points for the Constructors’ title, but now, if we want to take that second place, we have to do better in the next three races and try to always finish on the podium, at least with one car, if not both”.

Felipe Massa: “That was a nice race and I am very happy, because the strategy worked. I managed to always run at a good pace, even with the Soft tyres. Here, I could have fought for the podium, but as the track evolved, some cars, such as Grosjean in the Lotus, managed to make just one stop, which was impossible for us. I lost a position to Rosberg, who came in early for his second stop, but I have to be happy with this day when we made no mistakes. Today, we lost second place in the Constructors’ classification, because Mercedes was very quick and we are well aware, that even if it won’t be easy, there are still three races and we will do our utmost right to the very end. I want to congratulate Sebastian, who deserves everything he has achieved so far. I am really happy for him, because he is a great driver and a very nice guy. From today, his name will sit alongside the greatest drivers in the history of Formula One, such as Senna, Schumacher and few others”.

Pat Fry: “Congratulations to Red Bull, who took the title thanks to a better technical package and to Vettel, who managed to always drive with great consistency: they both deserve this success. As for today’s race, the result of this Grand Prix leaves a bitter sweet taste in the mouth. We can be pleased with the outcome of Felipe’s race, as his finishing place was better than we had predicted. He got a great start and managed the tyres well, especially the Softs, which he ran up until lap 8. He maintained a good pace, keeping Hamilton behind him. It’s just a shame he couldn’t do the same with Rosberg, even if we must admit that his Mercedes had that little bit more than us. I am very disappointed for Fernando, who could have got a great result today as both strategies proved to be worthwhile. Breaking the front wing after the contact with Webber left him with serious understeer and, at that moment, bringing him in earlier than planned, which was the only thing we could do, naturally compromised his race. Despite this handicap, Fernando tried all he knew to make up as many places as possible and he deserved to have finished in the points. Now we are immediately looking ahead to Abu Dhabi: there we will try and turn around the situation in the Constructors’ Championship, because second place is absolutely within our grasp”.

Race
Pos. Time Gap Laps FL L
ALONSO 11th 1:32.30.484 + 78.297 60 1.28.709 58
Pit-stop 1st stop Lap 2 New Medium
2nd stop Lap 30 New Soft
3rd stop Lap 36 Old Medium
MASSA 4th 1:31.53.879 + 41.692 607..111 1.28.886 54
Pit-stop 1st stop Lap 8 New Medium
2nd stop Lap 30 New Medium
Weather: air 29/30 °C, track 36/37 °C. Blue sky

 

Indian GP – In the points, out of the headlines

Posted: 27.10.2013
Source: Ferrari

Greater Noida, 27 October – While Fernando Alonso had to contend with a damaged F138 for all 60 laps of today’s race, ending it just out of the points in eleventh place, Felipe Massa put in a great performance to finish fourth, built on a blistering opening lap and a determined passing move right at the end. However, the Brazilian’s performance will have attracted scant attention, as today was all about Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull Racing taking their fourth consecutive Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles – a great sporting achievement. The German won the race, joined on the podium by Nico Rosberg, second for Mercedes and Romain Grosjean, who took his Lotus from 17th on the grid to third at the flag.In slightly cooler conditions that in previous days, which would help tyre life, the field got away cleanly with Vettel keeping the lead from pole but Felipe made a fantastic start to go from fifth to second, wrestling his way past the Mercedes, while Alonso tangled with Webber, as the Australian braked to avoid Raikkonen, dropped to eleventh and had to come in for new nose on lap 2, rejoining at the back of the pack. However, there was damage to the F138 that would hamper the rest of his race. Having to pit so early, after opting to start on the Mediums also wiped out any strategic advantage of starting on the harder rubber.When Vettel also had to pit for tyres very early on lap 3, Felipe found himself leading from Rosberg,Hamilton, Webber, Raikkonen, Perez, Ricciardo,Sutil, Grosjean, with Button tenth until the McLaren man pitted on lap 6, but Fernando was way down in 19th place. Rosberg brought the Mercedes in on lap 7 to fit the Medium tyres, followed by Raikkonen. Felipe came in to fit the Medium tyre on lap 8, as did Hamilton. The Brazilian rejoined in ninth place but moved up one, passing Bottas in the Williams.On lap 9, it was all those who had yet to pit who topped the order, with Webber leading, from Perez in the McLaren, Ricciardo’s Toro Rosso, Grosjean who was up from 17th on the grid for Lotus, Sutil in the Force India, with Vettel back up to sixth after his tyre change. Meanwhile in 17th place, Fernando was tailing Vergne’s Toro Rosso, until he found a way past on lap 11. Vettel was charging up the order, passing his next year’s team-mate to go third on lap 13.By lap 14, Felipe was seventh behind Gutierrez but the Sauber driver would have to come in, given a drive through penalty for jumping the start. When the Mexican came in, it promoted Felipe to sixth, 3.2 seconds behind Sutil and 0.9 ahead of Rosberg, while Alonso had fought his way up to fourteenth.

Round lap 20, Fernando was involved in an exciting tussle for thirteenth, behind Gutierrez and ahead of Grosjean, the Ferrari man passing the Sauber on lap 21. Still sixth, Felipe’s gaps to Sutil in front and Rosberg behind were fairly stable. It was also on this lap, that Red Bull took command of the race, with Vettel moving into second behind Webber, the two men separated by 11.6 seconds, the Australian on slightly older tyres. On lap 24, Rosberg got close enough to look down the side of Felipe’s car at Turn 4, but the Brazilian held position. On lap 26, Felipe had both Mercedes on his tail, Rosberg ahead of Hamilton, but the German pitted on the next lap, leaving Hamilton to pursue the Ferrari. Webber and Perez came in from first and third respectively on lap 28, to fit the Soft tyre, so that Vettel now led from Webber, with Ricciardo third ahead of Sutil, while Felipe was fifth, now with Perez behind him in the McLaren. Felipe and Hamilton then came in at half-distance, lap 30, the Ferrari man again fitting Mediums, and Fernando and Di Resta followed them in. One lap later, it was Vettel who came in for another set of Mediums which he would run to the flag. Webber also took on more Mediums on lap 32, while Ricciardo who was up to second pitted on lap 33, as did Perez and Hulkenberg.

Felipe was seventh on lap 36, in between Grosjean and Ricciardo, and Fernando came in at this point for another set of Mediums. But the Brazilian was coming under threat from Ricciardo, who was on newer, faster Softs, although the short life of this tyre meant the Australian was back in the pits for Mediums on lap 38. Drama two laps later, as Webber parked the car at the side of the track with an alternator issue on the Red Bull. It meant Felipe was now sixth, but the struggling Fernando was down in fourteenth. Lap 42 and Felipe was now fifth, with Hamilton right on his gearbox.

With Vettel leading Raikkonen by 25 seconds on lap 46, Rosberg third and Grosjean fourth ahead of Felipe, the question at this point was whether or not the two Lotus men, who had only stopped once, could really go all the way to the finish in 14 laps time. Fernando made up a couple of places to lie twelfth on lap 49 and he had Ricciardo doing similar lap times ahead of him. But the Spaniard stepped up the pace to get within half a second of the Australian with ten laps remaining, as they both closed on Sutil who was slow on old Options. Further ahead, Raikkonen’s tyres were fading which meant Rosberg managed to pass him for second on lap 51. The Ricciardo-Alonso duel was hotting up with the Spaniard looking down the inside of the Toro Rosso on lap 54, but unable to get ahead as the two men were now right up with Sutil’s Force India. And that’s how Fernando would finish eleventh, having fought with heavy steering from the first lap incident.

However, the drama was not over for Felipe. With the two Lotuses battling for third it allowed Felipe to close up and, at the start of lap 56 Felipe took fourth off Raikkonen, to take the chequered flag one place higher than he started. A strong showing from Mercedes here, means they move ahead of Ferrari to go second in the Constructors’ classification, but the Prancing Horse is still in the fight for what has been its main objective for a while, as the gap is just 4 points. Next stop, the “twilight” race in Abu Dhabi in just seven days time.

 

Indian GP – The Statistics

Posted: 27.10.2013
Source: Ferrari

0 the number of podium finishes for the Scuderia from the last three races. A total of 35 points have been scored in Korea, Japan and India with fourth place as a best result – for Alonso in Suzuka and Massa in Greater Noida.4 the number of points finishes for the Scuderia in the three editions of the Indian Grand Prix. Just once each have our drivers failed to finish in the top ten – Massa in 2011 and Alonso in 2013. Felipe finished sixth last year while Fernando made it to the podium in third place in 2011 and second in 2012, in the first two editions of this race.7 the number of consecutive top ten finishes for Felipe Massa, who was fourth today. The Brazilian has brought home a total of 45 points from the Hungarian Grand Prix onwards.64 the consecutive Grands Prix in which at least one Ferrari has finished in the points, a record which they hold jointly. Since the 2010 British Grand Prix, the team has never failed to score and from then to now the number has reached 1315, which is an average of 20.54 per race.

 

Indian GP – Massa 4th, Alonso 11th after a collision

Posted: 27.10.2013
Source: Ferrari

Greater Noida- 27 October – Felipe Massa finished fourth in the Indian Grand Prix and his Scuderia Ferrari team-mate, Fernando Alonso was eleventh. The Spaniard’s race was compromised at the first corner after the start. Not many points therefore and the Scuderia has dropped to third in the Constructors’ classification, but only four points behind second placed Mercedes.Having opted for different tyre choices in qualifying, Felipe started on the Soft and Fernando on the Medium. The Spaniard got away well at the start, but he collided with Mark Webber’s Red Bull at the start, damaging the front wing, and had to pit at the end of lap 2 to change it, rejoining twentieth.Massa got a brilliant start, barging past those ahead to lie second behind Vettel after a couple of corners. Felipe led for six laps when the German pitted and then came in to switch to Mediums. After that he was sixth for a long time and on lap 31 made his second stop, fitting another set of Mediums which he ran to the flag. Alonso came in shortly after to fit the Softs, which he ran for only five laps before stopping for a final set of Mediums.In the final third of the race, Massa tried for a long time to depose Romain Grosjean from fourth, but although he couldn’t manage it, he gained a place when the Raikkonen in the other Lotus slowed with worn tyres. Alonso was stuck in a slow train of cars in the closing stages and just missed out on getting to the top ten. Sebastian Vettel won for Red Bull to take his fourth consecutive world title.

 

Indian GP – Equal opportunities

Posted: 26.10.2013
Source: Ferrari

Fernando Alonso: “Before qualifying we looked at what might be the best strategy and it was very difficult to choose between two possibilities of equal worth. Using the Soft tyres in Q3, we could have aspired to a better starting position, while the Mediums would mean running a race with no traffic, because if the softer compound follows the pattern we have seen so far, then those starting with it will have to stop very early, around lap six. This would put them behind a group of cars that will stay out until lap 30. It’s true that at some point, I too will have to fit the Softs, which will signal a more difficult moment and we must be prepared for that. On Friday, I did fifteen or sixteen laps on them, while today just three and that’s why it’s absolutely impossible to say how it will go tomorrow. Only after the chequered flag will we know which was the right choice. The good thing about this decision is that, in putting two cars in the race on different strategies, at least one of us, me or Felipe, should be in a position to help the team in its goal of finishing second in the Constructors’ World Championship, which is our priority now”.Felipe Massa: “I’m reasonably pleased with this qualifying, even if I didn’t manage to put together a perfect lap. Unfortunately, I lost time in the second sector and maybe this cost me one or two positions, but we are in the ballpark and we will do our best. Unlike my team-mate and some others, I chose to qualify on the Soft tyres, because at the Nurburgring, I had made a choice that didn’t pay off. It will be interesting to find out who has made the best choice and the answer to that could come after the first stint. A lot will depend on the behaviour of the tyres: even if today, the Medium seemed undoubtedly the longer lasting, the evolution of the track and its consequent improvement in terms of grip could limit the degradation on the Softs. Tomorrow won’t be easy, because with cars on different strategies, anything can happen. I will try to pass Webber at the start, hoping to profit from the fact he is on Medium tyres. I hope I’ve taken the right decision which will allow me to have a strong race”.Pat Fry: “Tyre performance continues to be a key factor here in India, in free practice and qualifying, where it dictated strategy choices for the whole grid. Tomorrow’s race will definitely be determined by car performance, based on what the tyre choices are for the start. We went for two different scenarios, even if the pace they can produce on the softer tyres will be decisive for both drivers, at first for Felipe and then at some point in the race for Fernando. This weekend we have heard a lot of talk about graining and blistering, two phenomena that have a negative effect on tyre performance and they could become two key factors in tomorrow’s race. Consequently those who will start on the Softs could have to pit earlier than planned for their first stop. However, those that start on the Medium will be favourite, even if later on they will have to work out the best moment to fit the soft compound. The race looks like being particularly compelling in terms of strategy and, making the difference as usual, will be how competitive the cars are, their reliability and the efficiency of the work in the pits”.

 

Indian GP – Split strategies

Posted: 26.10.2013
Source: Ferrari

Greater Noida, 26 October – When qualifying involved setting your fastest lap with whatever load of fuel you wanted to use at the start of the race, the Saturday afternoon session didn’t actually tell you which cars were quickest. The amount of fuel and therefore weight carried was related to strategy in terms of when you planned to take on more of it and change tyres. However, since refuelling was banned, barring the odd unusual circumstance, the Q3 times were an accurate reflection of who had the fastest Formula 1 car on the planet as they run with minimum fuel.Today, that was not the case, due to the fact that the Soft Pirelli, the Option tyre, has been having a difficult time here in India, blistering and graining and generally proving tricky to manage. Therefore, running Q3 on the softer compound was not the default setting this afternoon. In fact, four of the top ten chose to finish Q3 on the harder Medium tyre, so as to use it for the start of tomorrow’s 60 lap Indian Grand Prix. The qualifying “podium” trio took the conventional Soft tyre route, with Sebastian Vettel on pole position for Red Bull, followed by the Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton. Then we come to fourth placed Mark Webber, running the Mediums. Then came Felipe Massa, fifth in his F138 on the Softs, as did Kimi Raikkonen who was sixth for Lotus and Nico Hulkenberg seventh in the Sauber. In the other Ferrari and eighth, Fernando Alonso was also a Medium runner, as were the two McLarens of Sergio Perez and Jenson Button, who completed the top ten.So, if the Soft tyre is a liability, why did the team opt to put Felipe on it? Firstly, as the track gets more and more rubber on it and provides more grip, usually problems like graining and blistering can reduce by Sunday and the life of the tyre could be better tomorrow than we have seen so far. However, where this theory falls down is if you have already blistered a tyre in qualifying. Then, you are not looking so clever! However, the Soft should be a bit quicker and therefore Felipe has a chance of picking up some places after the start. It also means that, once the Brazilian has pitted for the Mediums, he can expect a stable race from then on. It’s a case of six of one or half a dozen of the other. We will see who was right after 60 laps of the Buddh International Circuit.

 

Indian GP – Different strategies: Massa 5th and Alonso 8th

Posted: 26.10.2013
Source: Ferrari

Greater Noida, 26 October – At times, qualifying seemed as cerebral as a game of chess and come the end of it, Felipe Massa was fifth, while his Scuderia Ferrari team-mate, Fernando Alonso was eighth. The two F138s will tackle tomorrow’s race starting on different strategies, as Massa set his time on the Soft tyre, while Alonso ran the Medium and so that’s what they will start the race with.

In Q1, Massa went out for a 7 lap run on the Medium, but the time didn’t look good enough to get him into Q2, so with two minutes remaining he went out again, this time on the Soft, to go fourth fastest in 1.25.793. Alonso opted to go with the Softs from the start doing a first run in 1.25.934.

The two F138s went out right at the start of the second session, using the same tyres with which they ended the previous one. With three minutes remaining, everyone went out on new Softs. Alonso was second fastest in 1.24.885, while Massa was ninth to go into the top ten with a lap in 1.25.389.

In the final session, Alonso went out on Medium tyres to post a 1.25.826. The Spaniard kept the same compound for his second run but didn’t go faster. Massa went out just once, using a new set of Soft tyres, to set the fifth fastest time in 1.25.201. Sebastian Vettel took pole for Red Bull Racing in a time of 1.24.119.

 

Indian GP – The fog finally clears

Posted: 26.10.2013
Source: Ferrari

Greater Noida, 26 October – The start of the third free practice had to be delayed by 20 minutes as, due to the smog, the visibility was too poor for the medical helicopter to fly. When it did get going, Sebastian Vettel was again fastest, in 1.25.332 ahead of his Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber (1.25.892.) Fernando Alonso was third quickest for Ferrari in a time of 1.26.105, while in the other F138, Felipe Massa was sixth in 1.26.435. As usual the work programme revolved around preparations for this afternoon’s qualifying session.

 

Indian GP – Looking for clues in the fog

Posted: 25.10.2013
Source: Ferrari

Greater Noida, 25 October – In terms of how the teams are performing relative to one another at the Buddh International Circuit, for the most part the picture is about as clear as the visibility through the smog that hangs over this industrial area outside the Indian capital city of New Delhi. What can be seen in all light conditions is that all the momentum is still with Red Bull Racing, as Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber occupied today’s two virtual front rows of the grid.  Trying to hang on to their coat tails was third placed Romain Grosjean in the  Lotus, with Lewis Hamilton fourth in the Mercedes.

After a difficult start to the day, due to a mechanical gremlin on his F138, Fernando Alonso pulled things together in the afternoon to post the fifth fastest time in the afternoon. The Spaniard put in 39 laps, to catch up for lost time, while Felipe did two more in his F138 on his way to seventh place on the time sheet. Splitting the two Ferraris is Nico Rosberg in the second Mercedes. The times mean little on a day when the most expensive race cars in the world spend some time acting as the most expensive road sweepers in the world. Even so, the Prancing Horse performance was relatively encouraging, but the first real answer will come tomorrow in qualifying.

The main preoccupation today, as has so often been the case this season, surrounded the tyres. After accusations that last year’s one-stop Indian Grand Prix was a bit dull, Pirelli has gone for a more aggressive tyre choice, with its Soft and Medium compounds and the softer Option was showing signs of graining and blistering on some cars. Dealing with these additional factors makes for some interesting strategic choices both for tomorrow and Sunday afternoon’s 60 lap race. Given the accepted fact that the F138 is not the quickest car in the field, it’s these unknown factors that offer up the chance of gaining an advantage through clever choices. That means one thing at the moment at the Buddh circuit – a long night of analysing data for the Prancing Horse engineers.

 

Indian GP – Encouraging signs?

Posted: 25.10.2013
Source: Ferrari

Fernando Alonso “It was a Friday like any other, apart from a mechanical problem this morning which reduced my track time. Fortunately, this did not affect the programme too much, with a first session given over mainly to getting used to this track again. It’s always important to get the right feeling for a circuit, and especially to try the tyres, that are very important here. We also got a first idea of our race pace and also the rate of tyre degradation: we must take into account that track conditions on Sunday will be very different to today’s. The situation is not that different to recent races. We are a bit behind in performance terms and tomorrow we must try and get a good starting position to get away well in the race and make it to the podium”.Felipe Massa “A positive day today, with the car working well and I hope that on Sunday things will end up even better, because I like this track a lot. On my first lap with the Softs, I didn’t manage to set a good time because of the traffic, but I am quite pleased with the race simulation I did in the afternoon, because on the Medium tyres, I managed to do a lot of laps and that’s a very interesting point in terms of the race. Degradation is not that high here and so I don’t think we will see a lot of pit stops. I think we won’t see too many pit-stops, even if we will have to be careful with the Soft tyres in the first stint because of blistering. The team to beat is still Red Bull, but we have to see how the other cars will perform, especially in qualifying, because Mercedes and Lotus are very quick. As usual, we will have to push to the maximum”.Pat Fry “A problem on Fernando’s gearbox restricted his running in the morning session to just six laps. Some components were changed for reliability reasons and that got him back out on track in the afternoon, when he made up for lost time, working on set-up and the general balance of the car. With both drivers we tried to adapt the aerodynamic downforce to the amount of grip available from this track, as it gradually improved. Looking ahead to the race, today it was important for us to understand the behaviour of the tyres chosen for this track by Pirelli over a long run. It was the usual Friday in that the time sheet has little significance, but it did supply worthwhile clues for the race and the data relating to our pace is encouraging. We just need to pay close attention to the performance of the two compounds, starting with tomorrow’s qualifying to work out the best race strategy”.

 

Indian GP – Hopeful simulation

Posted: 25.10.2013
Source: Ferrari

Greater Noida, 25 October – Everything went smoothly for Scuderia Ferrari in this afternoon’s practice session at the Buddh International Circuit. A dry track and smoggy skies provided the backdrop to a busy programme which saw Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa complete 39 and 41 laps respectively. The Spaniard was fifth fastest in 1.26.430, while the Brazilian was seventh in 1.26.601.

In under two hours the engineers identified and solved the gearbox problem which stopped Alonso in the morning, so that he was able to complete the full session. He did his first 7 lap run on Mediums. Massa did 10 laps in the first half hour, also on Mediums. The Spaniard made his second run on the same set for another 7 laps, getting down to a 1.27.598. He thus made up for the time lost in FP1 before going out on the Softs for a qualifying simulation, lapping in 1.26.430 on his first flying lap. Massa had done a 1.26.601 on the Option at the end of his second flying lap. The last 40 minutes were given over to the usual long runs with Massa and Alonso alternating between the two compounds, acquiring valuable data on different fuel loads.

 

Indian GP – A dusty start

Posted: 25.10.2013
Source: Ferrari

Greater Noida, 25 October – The two Red Bulls topped the first time sheet of the Indian Grand Prix weekend, taking place at the Buddh International Circuit on the outskirts of New Delhi. The track was very dusty for the start of the sixteenth round of the world championship, as Sebastian Vettel went quickest in 1.26.683, followed by Mark Webber (1.26.871.) In third place was Nico Rosberg (1.26.899) for Mercedes. The first of the Ferrari drivers was Felipe Massa, eighth on the time sheet with a time of 1.27.692, while in the other F138, Fernando Alonso was twelfth with a lap in 1.28.214. However, the Spaniard’s session came to a premature end, because of a gearbox problem currently being evaluated by the engineers. He therefore only managed 6 laps, in a session spent, as usual, working on car set-up, with both drivers using just one set of Medium tyres.

 

Indian GP – Alonso: “I am in the best form of my life”

Posted: 24.10.2013
Source: Ferrari

Greater Noida, 24 October – It’s been a regular question at the last few races, when Fernando Alonso meets the media; how does he keep himself motivated with the title out of reach. It was asked again today, as the Ferrari man held his usual press meeting, although much later than usual, as darkness had already settled on the Buddh International Circuit. “Motivation is still high and always there, even if it might have been a little bit higher if we were still fighting for the titles,” he began. “Even when I am racing go-karts with my friends I give it a hundred percent, because I don’t like losing! So, you can imagine how high is the motivation in a Formula 1 Grand Prix. So for the rest of the year, I will be trying to score as many points as possible to help the team achieve its current goal of finishing second in the Constructors’ championship.”There have been suggestions that Vettel might just settle for enough points to be crowned champion on Sunday, but that’s not Fernando’s view. “If it was the last race, he could be more conservative, but with four races to go, it’s only a matter of time before he wins the championship and so I think he will try and win all four remaining races, which he has the potential to do. My plan is to do my race as best as I can and try to get some top three finishes to enjoy the podium ceremony, the trophy and the champagne. As for when Sebastian takes the title, it is up to him to decide which is the best country to celebrate in!” The Spaniard singled out Brazil as the track that might deliver the best result for the Prancing Horse in what’s left of 2013. “Ferrari has always gone well there,” he said. “And the rain could also open a window of possibilities for our team. But it will be important to do our very best at all the races.”

The Indian media have proved quick to learn about what is a new sport to them, but it’s clear they are disappointed that the race does not feature on next year’s calendar. “I like this circuit a lot, especially the second and third sectors with a lot of high speed corners,” said Fernando went asked for his view of the track. “I think all the drivers like it here. As for the future, we will be happy to come back if it returns.”

Despite the fact that the end of what has been a very tough season is approaching, Fernando hasn’t lost his sense of humour. Asked if he could see similarities between Vettel and Michael Schumacher he reckoned he couldn’t answer, “because to be honest, I never get close enough to Sebastian.” Had affected his morale to see that another driver is about to get a fourth title? The Spaniard’s attitude was sanguine. “I am still only 32 and it’s not the last year of my career, so I am sure I will have other opportunities. Of course I would like to win more championships. I have finished second three times in recent years, which could be considered sad, when you are so close to winning, but I am extremely proud of what I am doing now. I feel I am in the best form of my life and driving the best races right now.”

 

Indian GP – Massa: “I am talking with a few teams”

Posted: 24.10.2013
Source: Ferrari

Greater Noida, 24 October – It’s that time of the season when the teams, drivers and journalists play an elaborate game of cat and mouse, with one side not wanting to say much about the future and the other trying to get a sensational story. That was certainly the case when Felipe Massa met the press at Scuderia Ferrari’s hospitality unit this afternoon. Asked if was going to the Williams team next year, the Brazilian displayed all the political skills that a driver needs these days in Formula 1. “I have nothing to say for the moment,” he began, before saying something. “When the time is right I will comment. For sure, I am talking with a few teams, including even Williams.” The Ferrari man reiterated his wish to only stay in the sport if he could be competitive. “I will not go to a small team. I will go to the team that has possibilities to build a good car. I’m not a pay driver, so I will not go to a team just because I have a sponsor. I will go for my experience and for what I have already achieved in my career.”All this talk about the future doesn’t mean Felipe isn’t concentrating on the remaining four races. “I want to try the best I can to score as many points as possible,” said the Ferrari man. “The team is still fighting for second place in the championship and this is very important for us and it’s the only thing I have in my mind.”

Asked to explain the downturn in Ferrari form since the summer, Felipe refused to endorse the belief that it is all down to the changes Pirelli introduced mid-season on the tyre front. “We cannot blame the tyres,” he maintained. “We were not leading the championship before they changed the tyres. We were not the quickest car on the track before they changed the tyres. So you cannot blame the tyres for the position we are in the championship and for the car’s performance on track.”

 

Indian GP – A record crash helmet for Alonso

Posted: 23.10.2013
Source: Ferrari

Maranello, 23 October – A record is always a record and it has to be celebrated. Fernando Alonso today showed his Twitter followers the special livery that will adorn his crash helmet for the coming Indian Grand Prix, scheduled for the Greater Noida circuit this weekend. In full view there is obviously the number 1571, the total points the Spanish driver has won in his career, accompanied by the words: “F1 points World Record”. There is also a thank you to his fans in three languages (English, French and Italian), all on top of an unusual white background. We hope, along with all Ferrari’s tifosi, that the total can go even higher as soon as next Sunday, ideally by another 25 points!

 

Indian GP – Brief Encounter

Posted: 22.10.2013
Source: Ferrari

Maranello, 22 october – Even if the most likely scenario is that at some point in the next few weeks, we will be congratulating Sebastian Vettel on a fourth world title, Scuderia Ferrari will be tackling the remaining four rounds of the championship with the same determination as ever. The target the Prancing Horse is aiming for is that of finishing second in both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ classifications.

The final quartet of races begins at the first of a back-to-back pairing, the Indian Grand Prix, which takes place on the outskirts of the country’s capital city of New Delhi. The 5.125 kilometre Buddh International Circuit was well received by drivers on its debut in 2011. We asked James Allison, the Scuderia’s new Technical Director on the Chassis side to assess the team’s current situation in the run up to India. “The Korean and Japanese Grands Prix were both disappointing for us as our car was not right at the front or winning, which is not the level we should be at,” began the Englishman. “However, the team performed very well at the track with a group that is strategically very astute and we have drivers who can bring the car home in good positions. But those results are not what we are aiming for, so we need to improve for the remaining races.” The need to improve is why Allison has been brought in to strengthen the technical side of the Gestione Sportiva. It is a familiar environment, as he previously worked for Ferrari for five years, starting in 2000. “After nine years away, I have a mixture of feelings returning to Maranello,” he revealed. “There’s excitement but also a lot of nostalgia as this is a team with whom I share many happy memories of all the victories from 2000 to 2004. So nostalgia, excitement and pleasure at seeing so many faces I remember from before, who were junior members in the team when I was here the last time, but have now grown up with the team and hold senior positions. But most of all I have a feeling of determination to play my part alongside everyone else, in returning to victory with this team.”

On to more immediate matters relating to the coming weekend. “The Buddh International Circuit is an interesting track which offers the full range of challenges, with a reasonable number of straights, some fast corners and slow ones,” says Allison. “A bit like Korea, the track has a slightly schizophrenic nature, because you want the car to be good down the straights, but there are also some very demanding slow speed sections. It therefore requires a lot from the car. To go well in India, a car needs the same qualities it requires at any type of circuit: it needs to be stable under braking, well balanced in both high and low speed corners, with good traction out of the latter, and good speed down the straights. These are the generic qualities required by every car for every track, but with India having such a wide range of corners, it stretches the car to it limit, similarly to tracks like Suzuka.”

A combination of lack of use and dust from heavy industry in the area means the track conditions change very rapidly on the first day of practice as rubber gets put down by the cars. The track surface is very smooth so degradation is not normally an issue, with Pirelli bringing its Medium and Soft tyres, therefore getting tyres up to temperature for qualifying can be a challenge.

This year’s event will be only the third Indian Grand Prix and, it seems, the last one, at least for two years. That’s a shame, as despite this brief encounter, it has proved very popular with the drivers. The Hermann Tilke layout features plenty of changes in elevation and there are some standout corners, such as the double apex of Turns 10 and 11 that run together, tightening on the exit. As for the Scuderia’s record here, Fernando Alonso has always been on the podium, finishing third in 2011 and second last year, while Felipe Massa was in the points in 2012 with a sixth place finish. The podium will again be the target for the Spaniard and the Brazilian and Allison will be following every moment of the weekend from Maranello. “After nine years of separation, I can see there are many changes within the Scuderia,” he says. “The team is bigger and more complex, but its character, its emotion is very similar and recognisable the moment you walk through the door. You can also feel the hunger to win again.”

 

In pursuit of number three

Posted: 22.10.2013
Source: Ferrari

According to the well known saying, there is no two without three, meaning that if something happens twice, maybe in quick succession, then it will probably happen a third time. So the chances of Ferrari getting a third consecutive podium finish in the third edition of the Indian Grand Prix, is to a certain extent corroborated by superstition, even if of course, that counts for absolutely nothing. The two previous podium finishes can be attributed to the talents of Fernando Alonso. He came third in 2011 and second last year, curiously on both occasions, just ahead of Webber, even though his car was not up to the level of the competition.

In the inaugural race, Vettel and Button finished ahead of Fernando, while in 2012, only the German managed to get ahead of the Spaniard. Felipe Massa’s record is less noteworthy, with a sixth in 2012, having been forced to retire the previous year, with a broken front left suspension.

In qualifying, the two Ferrari men have always ended up between fourth (Alonso in 2011) and sixth places (Felipe both times) even if in the first year, Fernando started from third, as Hamilton had to take a grid penalty.

Advertising
Support Mitorosso.com
Archives
Advertising