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Circuit Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya
Date 11.05.2014
Laps 66
Distance 307,104 km / 190,866 miles
No Driver Ferrari S/N Team Result
7 Kimi Raikkonen F14 T 303 Scuderia Ferrari 7.
           
14 Fernando Alonso F14 T 302 Scuderia Ferrari 6.

 

Swapped positions

Posted: 11.05.2014
Source: Ferrari

Fernando Alonso: “Of course I’d have liked to have done better here in my home race, but I knew right from the start that it would be difficult. Our pace was too slow compared to the leaders and on top of that, not making up any places at the start didn’t help. The gap to the best is nothing new and today’s result confirms the fact our rivals are strong on both the performance and the reliability fronts, but until it is mathematically impossible to catch them we will continue to believe and do all we can to catch up. The decision to go for a three stop strategy was taken in an attempt to cover Vettel, but unfortunately I lost the place at the pit stop and I only managed to make up one on Kimi, who was impossible to pass when we were on the same tyres. In the two weeks to go to the Monaco Grand Prix, we will continue to work day and night: we definitely can’t expect to have a new car, because you can’t achieve a revolution in such a short space of time, but we will do our very best to improve in all areas.”

Kimi Raikkonen: “That was a complicated race for me, with the main problem being a lack of grip and in general, it was very difficult to find the right balance on the car. Going for a two stop strategy proved to be the wrong choice because tyre degradation meant I couldn’t push all the way to the end. Overall here, we went better than in the last race, maybe because the characteristics of this track are very different to those we have raced on so far, but we cannot be happy with sixth and seventh places, because we are a long way off where we want to be. It will take time, but we will do our utmost, because we know where we must keep pushing if we want to improve.”

Pat Fry: “This weekend, which was difficult for the team and the drivers ended with a less than spectacular race in which we unfortunately lacked the pace to make up places from our grid positions. Considering how difficult it is to overtake at this track, the start could have made the difference, but the positions remained more or less the same throughout the order. If fuel consumption wasn’t much of a problem, tyre degradation affected the race from start to finish. Apart from the two Mercedes, the lap times of the various teams were very similar, which meant the chances of being able to carry out or be subjected to an undercut, along with managing the traffic, took priority over the strategy choices. The gap to the leaders is certainly not a surprise and will not discourage us as we tackle the work we must do to improve our car. Now we will try and make the most of the two test days this coming week here in Montmelò to move forward on the development of the F14 T. The aim is to give our drivers a more competitive package.”

 

Spanish GP – Fighting, but too far down

Posted: 11.05.2014
Source: Ferrari

Montmelo, 11 May – Fernando Alonso finished his home Grand Prix in sixth place, with Kimi Raikkonen seventh. After qualifying respectively seventh and sixth, the only chance of moving up the order would depend on the start and then a clever strategy. In the case of the former, both F14 Ts were unable to make any headway when the lights went out. And as for the latter, Fernando’s three stops and Kimi’s two stops were matched by those around them. Lewis Hamilton took his fourth straight win to lead the Championship, with his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third for Red Bull.

As the lights went out, the two Mercedes took off cleanly from the front row, with Bottas in the Williams jumping Ricciardo in the Red Bull to go third. Both Ferraris got slightly boxed in as they jostled for position and were sixth (Kimi) and seventh (Fernando) behind Grosjean in the Lotus. Fernando had left the line a fraction slowly and used all his tenacity to prevent Massa in the Williams passing him into Turn 1.

After 11 laps, although he was within DRS distance of Kimi, Fernando was not yet looking to pass his team-mate. The two Prancing Horse pilots were in any case on different strategies; the Spaniard going for three tyre changes and the Finn for two. Vettel was the first to pit, switching to the Hard Pirellis on lap 12, having started from 15th because of a gearbox penalty.

Fernando brought his F14 T in on lap 16 for another set of Mediums, while Kimi did the same on the following lap. Leader Hamilton changed tyres on lap 18. As Kimi rejoined the track, Fernando was charging past the pits and almost got ahead, even locking a wheel, but the Finn held firm. The only change through the run of pit stops was the Ricciardo was now third, ahead of Bottas.

Lap 23 and having closed on Grosjean, Kimi almost managed to squeeze past the Lotus but couldn’t complete the move. He did it next time round into Turn 1 and now the Spanish Ferrari man was all over the Frenchman’s gearbox, getting past in a copy of Kimi’s move, on lap 25. Alonso came in on lap 36 fitting the Hards. He rejoined and with the run of stops, found himself again behind fifth placed Kimi, 17 seconds adrift.

Kimi came in on lap 43 but he lost out to Vettel dropping to seventh, with Fernando up to fifth. At the front, Hamilton had 4.6 in hand over Rosberg with 18 laps to go, the Englishman on Hards, the German on faster Mediums. A dull race was really coming to life as the two Mercedes team-mates were separated by 0.9 with 7 laps to go, but try as he might, there were not enough laps for the quicker Rosberg to pass Hamilton.

Vettel in fifth was beginning to pose a threat to Alonso as he had got the gap to the Ferrari man down to 1.9 before changing tyres on lap 52, one lap earlier than Fernando and it was enough for both Vettel and Bottas to get ahead of the local hero.

Kimi was fifth but he now had his mirrors full of Vettel with ten laps remaining and the German, on fresher tyres easily swept past the Finn, so that the two F14 Ts were sixth and seventh. The three stopping Spaniard was considerably quicker and the two Prancing Horses were nose to tail, then side by side for a few corners until Fernando snatched sixth in an exciting little inter-team battle.

 

Spanish GP – A struggle for Scuderia Ferrari

Posted: 11.05.2014
Source: Ferrari

Montmelò, 11 May –It was a difficult Spanish Grand Prix for Ferrari at the Catalunya track today. While running different tyre strategies, neither Fernando Alonso nor Kimi Raikkonen managed to deliver a great result. In the closing stages, the Spaniard managed to pass the Finn, but they were only fighting for sixth place.
The Scuderia leaves Spain knowing it will take plenty of work to at least reach its short term goal, which is to be the best team after Mercedes.

Once again the Anglo-German team was dominant, with Lewis Hamilton taking his 26th win, while it was number 18 for Mercedes. Just six tenths down in second was his team-mate Nico Rosberg. The Englishman now leads the championship.
Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel were third and fourth for Red Bull, with Valtteri Bottas fifth for Williams, ahead of the two Ferraris. The next round is the Monaco Grand Prix on 25 May.

 

Spanish GP – A thought for Michael

Posted: 11.05.2014
Source: Ferrari

Montmelò, 11 May – Gathered around a pit board specially prepared for the occasion, Scuderia Ferrari wanted to remember Michael Schumacher’s first win at the wheel of a Prancing Horse car, which came here at the Catalunya circuit back in 1996, when the race was run under a torrential downpour. This special message fits in with what Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo had to say on Friday, when he recalled the German champion’s brilliant drive, as a way of “staying close to his family and to look back at all the great things Michael has done in the past.”

 

Spanish GP – A tough challenge

Posted: 10.05.2014
Source: Ferrari

Fernando Alonso: “This wasn’t a good qualifying session, but the outcome was more or less what we could have expected on a difficult weekend, especially in terms of grip, not just for us but for all the teams. I’d definitely have liked to be starting from further up, but that’s how it went today, we weren’t quick enough and now we must think about tomorrow and try to make up some places to score as many points as possible. Of the updates we brought here, some worked, while others need further testing. There is a definite improvement compared to China, but we have some problems with the rear, despite the many set-up changes we made. Kimi did very well and I hope that both Ferraris can finish higher up. Now we must find the best strategy for tomorrow and try to get a good start. But above all, we mustn’t make any mistakes, because this race demands a high level of concentration.”

Kimi Raikkonen: “We can’t be pleased with sixth place, because naturally we want to be fighting for the top places. But compared to the last race, we have managed to solve some problems and have improved the feeling I have from the car. Yesterday, the long run went well and, in general, we did a good job, but there is still much more to do, because we are not yet as fast as we would like to be. Tomorrow, the goal is to get a good start and then have a normal race. Of course, we will also need a good strategy and we will have to keep an eye on our tyre management. It won’t be easy, but we are definitely going to fight.”

Pat Fry: “Today’s qualifying session was difficult for everyone. The track conditions had not improved much since yesterday and it was very difficult to put together a clean lap. We continued to work on the balance of both cars as we tried to increase the grip, but it was not enough to obtain better grid positions for Fernando and Kimi. As always here in Barcelona, it will be important to get a good understanding of the tyre degradation, because this track provides a real challenge for the two tyre compounds in terms of performance and wear. Overall, we have made a few small steps forward on improving the stability of the F14 T, both under braking and on turn-in to the corners, as well as on power delivery, so as to give the drivers more confidence in the car. But there is still lots of work to do to improve the efficiency of the car, especially on the aerodynamic front. Tomorrow’s race will be difficult, but we can count on having a pair of amazing drivers who will be trying to make up a few places.”

 

Spanish GP – Third and fourth rows for Scuderia Ferrari

Posted: 10.05.2014
Source: Ferrari

Montmelò, 10 May– Scuderia Ferrari’s F14 Ts will start tomorrow’s Spanish Grand Prix at the Catalunya circuit from the third and fourth rows. Kimi Raikkonen was sixth fastest in 1.27.104, beating team-mate Fernando Alonso by just 36 thousandths. It was a complicated, difficult session for the Scuderia. Raikkonen got through to Q2 in 16th and last place in Q1 and then Alonso suffered the same fate, getting through to the top-ten shoot-out in tenth place.

Once again, Lewis Hamilton was on pole, taking his fourth of the season and the 35th of his career. He beat his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg by 168 thousandths. The second row features Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull and Valtteri Bottas in the Williams. Joining Kimi on row 3 is a surprise in the shape of Frenchman Romain Grosjean in the Lotus, while Alonso has Jenson Button in the McLaren for company on row 4.

 

Spanish GP – Alonso third, Raikkonen further back

Posted: 10.05.2014
Source: Ferrari

Montmelò, 10 May – The Catalunya circuit was still not providing much grip as the third free practice session took place this morning, prior to Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix: Fernando was third fastest with a 1.27.188, while Kimi Raikkonen was further back, only 14th, in 1.28.419.

Fernando Alonso did a lot of work running the Hard tyre, also carrying out further set-up tests. He also tried the softer Medium tyres available this weekend, but only at the end of the session.  He did 15 laps, one less than Kimi, who ran a similar programme to the Spaniard, but when he fitted the Mediums, he was unable to get the most out of them, only going a few thousandths quicker than on the hard tyre.

The best time was again set by a Mercedes, but this time it was Nico Rosberg who topped the time sheet in 1.25.887, almost nine tenths faster than team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

 

Spanish GP – Swap of champions

Posted: 10.05.2014
Source: Ferrari

Montmelò, 10 May – Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen met up with two time MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo, who was visiting the Catalunya circuit today. The meeting ended with an exchange of helmets, as the Majorcan Team Movistar Yamaha rider wanted to pay tribute to Kimi and Fernando, with two specially designed helmets bearing the Alfa Romeo logo and in return the Ferrari duo handed over one each of their own.  “It was great spending the day with the Ferrari family,” said Lorenzo. “I was in the garage and was able to watch from close up the work of the mechanics and they showed me lots of interesting things relating to the car and the telemetry. I support Fernando, but I think Kimi is also a great champion and I am really happy to have been given their helmets, as they are two incredibly talented guys.”

 

Spanish GP – Slippery start

Posted: 09.05.2014
Source: Ferrari

Fernando Alonso: “There wasn’t much grip on track today and in general, we struggled a bit more, which was down to a series of factors, including the track being less rubbered-in than usual. On top of that, we have less aerodynamic downforce than in the past and also in my opinion, the tyre choice here is too conservative for this track. Now we face a lot of work to try and optimise the balance of the car and get the most out of it, even if the circumstances are not that favourable to us. We must be cleverer than the others in terms of making the changes we need and adapting to them in time for qualifying.”

Kimi Raikkonen: “We had a particularly busy time on track today, trying to do as many laps as possible to complete the planned programme over the two free practice sessions. In the morning, we tried various set-ups, alternating between two different rear wings, while in the second session, we concentrated on preparing for qualifying and the race and on analysing the behaviour of the two compounds Pirelli has brought here. This evening, we will carefully analyse all the data gathered, to decide which direction to go in.”

Pat Fry: “Today we had a particularly packed programme and despite the very poor track conditions complicating our task, mainly in the first session, we managed to get through it without any glitches. We tried various aero solutions in the morning and did a comparison between the two Pirelli compounds this afternoon. We have suffered with poor grip especially on the Hard tyres and this made controlling the car more difficult, but that was the case for most of the teams. The data gathered from the work we split between the two cars will be extremely useful to understand in which areas we can improve and, even if our rivals proved to be very strong, we will do our utmost to be as well prepared as possible for qualifying and the race.”

 

Spanish GP – Close to Schumi and the team

Posted: 09.05.2014
Source: Ferrari

Montmelò, 9 May – Various different reasons brought Luca di Montezemolo to the Catalunya circuit, scene of the fifth round of the Formula 1 World Championship. Having watched the two free practice sessions from the pits and waved to the many Ferrari fans in the grandstand, the Ferrari president then had a brief meeting with the press. He wanted to explain the reasons behind his visit, the first one being of a “sentimental” nature, linked to Michael Schumacher and his first of many Ferrari wins, here back in ’96 in the rain.

“My thoughts are with him and his family at this difficult time and I hope he can win this battle he has been fighting for several months now.” Then the President switched to the topic of Marco Mattiacci, actually sitting alongside him. He’d had an early morning call to take on the role of the Scuderia Team Principal, following the resignation of Stefano Domenicali, a faithful servant who “unfortunately did not get the satisfaction of achieving the right results, because of the tough nature of all sports, just like when a footballer hits the crossbar instead of scoring a goal.”

“Mattiacci has already been with Ferrari for a long while, even if it has been spent outside the sphere of motor sport. I chose him, because I wanted to have someone who knows how to manage a group, putting the right people in the right place to do the best job, a competent person with all-round management experience.” As was the case in the early months of Jean Todt’s mandate in 1992, now Montezemolo wants to stay in close contact with the new man. “When he came, Todt was criticised a lot because he knew nothing about Formula 1, but then he managed to do a great job. So it’s like going back in time and I am sure that Mattiacci will do a good job, but I want to make it clear this is not a one man show, but rather a case of injecting the team with determination, rapid decision making and organizational clarity. If we have not worked well, then we need to understand why and react. There are still many races remaining and I am convinced we can improve, because I see a team that’s capable of reacting,” thus ruling out with this statement the notion of a supposed transitional season. In a final analysis, Montezemolo affirmed he was not happy with the results, which had not lived up to expectations, neither his nor the fans’, but he was keen to make it clear that from now there would be no more excuses.

“This current car is the last car created without a precise wind tunnel plan. It came out of the Toyota tunnel, because ours was not ready, but from now on there will be no more excuses as we finally have an efficient wind tunnel. We are Ferrari, we have been in Formula 1 since 1950 and we must start winning again.”

 

Spanish GP – Busy on track and in the pits

Posted: 09.05.2014
Source: Ferrari

Montmelo, 9 May – Mercedes, Red Bull, Scuderia Ferrari: could this represent the pecking order down pit lane for the weekend? It’s not an unlikely scenario and it’s the one suggested by this afternoon’s time sheet, after the 90 minutes of Free Practice 2. The winner of the past three races. Lewis Hamilton, appears to be in a state of grace right now, quickest in both sessions and almost half a second faster than Mercedes team-mate and championship leader Nico Rosberg. Daniel Ricciardo was third quickest, the only driver to fly the Red Bull flag at the Catalunya circuit this afternoon, as Sebastian Vettel had a wiring loom problem this morning that could not be fixed in time for FP2.

Then came Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen in fourth and fifth, the Spaniard almost 1.6 seconds down on Hamilton’s time, with the Finn just under two tenths slower than his team-mate, so pretty evenly matched today for the two Prancing Horse drivers. Rounding off the top six was Kevin Magnussen in the McLaren.

With three weeks between the last round in Shanghai and Formula 1’s European debut here in Spain, the garages were the scene of frantic activity over the whole length of pit lane, as all teams had some new updates to try, which involves not only doing plenty of laps, but also plenty of swapping over of components in order to run comparison tests. The stopwatch says the engineers still need to find a bit more pace from the F14 T prior to tomorrow’s qualifying and the race, but the number of laps run today -108 between the two cars – shows the day went well and produced plenty of data.

 

Spanish GP –  A lot of work for Alonso and Raikkonen

Posted: 09.05.2014
Source: Ferrari

Montmelò, 9 May –The second session produced a time sheet similar to the first at the Catalunya circuit, with the Scuderia Ferrari drivers in fourth and fifth places, Alonso ahead of Raikkonen. The Spaniard did 33 laps, the best in 1.27.121 and once again, the Finn was right behind his team-mate, also doing 33 laps, his best being a 1.27.296.

It was a very busy session for the Scuderia with further aero and set-up work, as well as practice starts from  the end of pit lane. The biggest job, especially in the final half hour, was done in race trim, with a busy tyre evaluation programme. Alonso did a long run on the Hards, while Raikkonen went on the Mediums, setting very consistent times. Later the drivers switched tyre programmes.

Once again, Lewis Hamilton was fastest in the Mercedes with an impressive 1.25.524, beating team-mate Nico Rosberg by almost half a second. Third was the only Red Bull on track in this session, that of Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo.

 

Spanish GP – Fourth and sixth places for Alonso and Raikkonen

Posted: 09.05.2014
Source: Ferrari

Montmelò, 9 May – Fernando Alonso was fourth fastest and Kimi Raikkonen sixth at the end of the first free practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix at the Catalunya circuit. The track was still very dirty, as the Scuderia Ferrari drivers tackled aero testing, as well as working on set-up and tyres. This morning, Fernando completed 23 laps with a best time of 1.28.128. Kimi was not far behind, doing 19 laps, the best of them in 1.28.337. Shortly after the mid point of the session, president Montezemolo arrived in the team garage. Fastest was Lewis Hamilton, who did a 1.27.023 in the Mercedes, 8 tenths quicker than Jenson Button in the McLaren and over 9 faster than third placed Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull. Splitting the two Ferraris was the other Mercedes of Nico Rosberg.

 

Montezemolo: “In Spain also for Michael ”

Posted: 09.05.2014
Source: Ferrari

Montmelò 9 May – “I wanted to be at the Montmelo circuit, because today more than ever, my thoughts are with Michael Schumacher and his family. It was at this track on 2 June 1996 that he took his first Grand Prix win in a Ferrari, which began that long run of victories with the Scuderia. So it is from here that I want to send another message of encouragement to this great friend who is facing his most difficult challenge. He must tackle it with the courage and determination that he always showed on track. Myself, everyone at Ferrari and all his fans are always thinking of him.” That was what Luca di Montezemolo told Ferrari.com while in Spain.

On the first day of the European part of the season, the President wanted to be with the race team. Over the past few weeks, Montezemolo has personally been working on getting the team back on track, attending technical organization meetings.

 

Spanish GP – Raikkonen: “Much better understanding of our car now”

Posted: 08.05.2014
Source: Ferrari

Montmelo, 8 May – Kimi Raikkonen had the honour of being the first driver to hold a media session in Scuderia Ferrari’s newly refurbished Media unit at the Catalunya circuit, as this weekend marks the first appearance of the season for the trucks and hospitality units, with the F1 calendar finally reaching Europe.

However, even if we are in Spain, the Finn’s first question involved looking back to the tough weekend in Shanghai. “We have had a difficult start to the season, so we need to get things on track and fix that situation,” admitted Kimi. “It’s not an easy task, but I’m sure we can do much better. In China there were a lot of small things that influenced the final result and we would have understood the problems sooner if I had managed to take part in first practice. That made the rest of the weekend difficult. But we know what happened. So far, this year has not been very straightforward but I am hopeful we can turn it round. I am sure we will get there, the question is when. Hopefully soon.”

With Mercedes having won all four races so far, a common question the length of the paddock today was, are they uncatchable in the title race. The Ferrari man isn’t sure. “We have been working hard and we have improved the car at every race and even a small thing can make a big difference to something like the handling for example,” said Kimi. “We have a much better understanding of our car now, but the others are still pushing to improve too. Hopefully at some races soon we will be able to fight with them.”

Asked about the importance of getting a good result in Barcelona, Raikkonen did not believe this was a make or break weekend: “It would be nice to get a good result here as that always makes life easier, but getting a good result here rather than at any other circuit is not going to change the year completely,” he stated. “If we get the car running the way we like then we can get the results we want. The important thing is to have a clean weekend.”

 

Spanish GP – Alonso: “We will improve step by step”

Posted: 08.05.2014
Source: Ferrari

Montmelo, 8 May – As the only Spaniard on the grid, naturally enough Fernando Alonso was called to attend today’s FIA press conference. The Ferrari man was keen to scotch any suggestions that a repeat of his Chinese podium three weeks ago could be on the cards. “I would be lying if I said I could aim for a podium this weekend,” said the man from Oviedo. “The result in China was a boost for the team, but it came about because of a set of circumstances: I was lucky not to damage my car in the accident after the start, the two Red Bulls got a bit delayed, my pit stops were quick, so many factors put me on the podium. We need very special weekends to do it again and a podium here would be unbelievable,” added the man, who unbelievably won here last year!

As to circumstances that could work in the Scuderia’s favour, Fernando reckoned the Catalunya track could play its part. “Here, we will have to wait and see if the characteristics of the track can help us a little bit,” he explained. “Because there are not many straights, just the main one past the pits.” The Ferrari man also played down the importance of updates introduced on the F14 T for this race. “There are some new parts, but nothing special,” he maintained. “We are realistic and we will improve step by step and not give up. There is a big gap to Mercedes, but the championship has a long way to go. We must use all the potential within Ferrari to do everything we can to close the gap and become more competitive. It will be a slow recovery and so when we have improved we must hope it is not too late by then to fight for the championship.” Alonso believes his home track will provide a useful assessment of the team’s situation. “It’s a good place to check how competitive we are and it will give us some answers. Then we go to Monaco and Canada, two completely different tracks, so I believe this point of the championship will tell us many things.”

 

Spanish GP – Scuderia drivers at Ferrari-Oakley event

Posted: 08.05.2014
Source: Ferrari

Barcelona, 8 May – A gala evening was held in Barcelona tonight for the launch of the Ferrari and Oakley partnership. The event was held at the Barcelona Studios to launch the new collection of Scuderia Ferrari by Oakley glasses. Guests of honour were three Scuderia drivers, the Spanish test drivers Marc Gene and Pedro de la Rosa and the Finn Kimi Raikkonen.

Raikkonen was first asked about the importance of having a sense of detail when involved in a sport such as Formula 1. His response was thorough: “I think that details are vital. In F1 cars, just as with road cars, the attention to detail is essential and when it comes to this, Ferrari and Oakley share the ability to pay the closest attention to even the smallest component and that’s important.”

Kimi was then asked if he would consider using a visor with a heads-up display showing data and information so as not to have to take his eyes off the road, but he didn’t seem so convinced about this technology. “I would be interested to try it even if I’m not sure I’d use it. I’m a bit old school when it comes to driving. But maybe having just a few key pieces of information would work.”

The conversation then turned to sunglasses, a topic Kimi is particularly keen on. “I use them a lot because my eyes are sensitive to the light. Some people say I wear them so that others can’t look me in the eye,” he added with a smile. “And sometimes that’s true!”

 

Allison: “keep improving at every race”

Posted: 06.05.2014
Source: Ferrari

Maranello, 6 May – Ask anyone who works in Formula 1 if it makes a difference racing back in Europe after the opening quartet of Grands Prix far from home and you will get a resounding yes. The reasons are obvious; shorter flights, no jet lag and a shorter race week with less packing and unpacking. However, from a technical point of view, this Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix is just another race. For Scuderia Ferrari that means bringing along some more updates for the F14 T, just as it has done since the start of the season.

There’s been more time for designers and engineers to work on that, given the three week break since China, but the principle of continuous improvement remains the same, as Chassis Technical Director James Allison explains. “Where did we see the real performance level of the car? Bahrain or China?” he asks. “It’s a mistake to think in those terms, because it wasn’t the same car at the two tracks. Between those two races, we improved the car quite substantially, so not only did the track characteristics change, so did our car.

“We are learning how to get performance out of this new set of regulations and hopefully to make this car more competitive,” continues the Englishman. The key to a successful season is to keep improving your car at every race. If we can do that, bringing a meaningful amount of performance to every one of those races, we will keep seeing steps forward. And that will define what is the true F14 T, not just one single race.” However, in motor sport, while the stopwatch provides irrefutable proof of progress, it means nothing until you measure yourself against your opponents, who will have been working just as hard. In this respect, the 4.655 kilometre Catalunya track, on the outskirts of Barcelona is perfect for testing every aspect of a car’s performance and thus provides a good platform on which to make that comparison.

The work of the engineers has to be “interpreted” by the drivers and Allison is impressed by the commitment of the Ferrari pairing. “With Fernando we’ve seen an extraordinary level of performance, scavenging every possible point at every possible opportunity. Kimi is working extremely well with the team, collaborating with the engineers, helping us to drive this car forwards. He has class written all over him and in a very short space of time, I’m sure we will also see the results of that on the track.”

 

A home race for Fernando Alonso

Posted: 05.05.2014
Source: Ferrari

Maranello, 5 May – Sunday sees the 44th Spanish Grand Prix take place at the Catalunya circuit and for Scuderia Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso it’s his home race. A year ago he triumphed here after a winning drive, that was partly down to a very on-form F138, which also helped Felipe Massa make it to the third step of the podium.

Since the Spanish Grand Prix was first held in 1951 at Pedralbes, Barcelona, Ferrari has won the race 12 times, which is a 28% hit rate. The first victory came here in 1954, courtesy of Mike Hawthorn. When the race returned to the calendar in 1968, it was held at Jarama on the outskirts of Madrid. Here in 1974, Ferrari won thanks to Niki Lauda who, at the wheel of a 312 B3-74 also took pole position and the race fastest lap.

The last time the Spanish GP was held at Jarama, it produced one of Gilles Villeneuve’s greatest performances. At the wheel of a 126 CK, he drove an incredible race, holding up a whole train of cars that were faster than his in the corners, but not on the straights, where the Ferrari managed to hold its own. In the Ligier, Jaques Laffite pulled alongside him several times through the turns, but on the straights, Villeneuve managed to keep ahead of the Frenchman. The race result paints an accurate picture of the race, as the top five all finished within 1.240 seconds.

In 1986, the Spanish Grand Prix made Jerez de la Frontera its home. Ferrari put its name on the winner’s trophy in 1990, with Alain Prost first past the flag, which opened up the title fight again with Ayrton Senna, who had to retire his McLaren.

The Grand Prix’s current home is the Catalunya circuit, at Montmelo, on the outskirts of Barcelona. Ferrari and Michael Schumacher racked up a lot of wins here, including the German’s first ever victory with the Scuderia, when he was majestic in atrociously wet conditions in 1996.

The Schumacher-Ferrari combination also triumphed in 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004. In 2007, victory went to Felipe Massa. On that day, Fernando Alonso got away well in the McLaren, with the Spaniard trying to pass the Brazilian at the first corner. However, Felipe never lifted off, the F2007 and the McLaren collided and Alonso ended up in the run-off area. The following year, victory went to Kimi Raikkonen, with Massa completing a one-two for the Scuderia.

In its time, the Spanish GP has also been held at the Montjuich street circuit, again in Barcelona. Tragedy struck here in 1975, when five people were killed by Rolf Stommelen in the Hill. The race was also notable as it is, to date, the only time a woman driver has finished in the points, that honour going to the Italian Lella Lombardi, who was sixth in the March.

 

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