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Circuit Monte Carlo
Date 26.05.2013
Laps 78
Distance 260,520 km / 161,914 miles
No Driver Ferrari S/N Team Result
3 Fernando Alonso F138 299 Scuderia Ferrari 7.
           
4 Felipe Massa F138 300 Scuderia Ferrari retired/accident

 

Monaco GP – Fight back from Canada

Posted: 26.05.2013
Source: Ferrari

Stefano Domenicali: “We can’t be happy with this weekend, not just because of the outcome of Fernando’s race, but also because of the bad accidents that Felipe had. Fortunately, despite the violence of the impact, he is fine and has already gone home and I believe that in the space of a few days he will back in perfect shape and ready to race in Montreal. Apart from all the misfortune, it was a complicated race, conditioned by a few problems of a technical nature. Now it is important for us to understand why we were not as competitive as we were in previous races and try to react right away in Canada. Our aim is still to improve our qualifying and try to get back to the pace we had seen to date.”

Fernando Alonso: “Unfortunately today we didn’t manage to have a good pace, as is usually the case on Sunday and I wasn’t pessimistic about not being competitive yesterday, because so far, things have always improved in the race. That wasn’t the case today, maybe down to a lack of traction, a problem we had seen before in Bahrain. This race came at the end of a weekend that overall was difficult, starting with a qualifying that left me in the middle of a group of drivers who had nothing to lose. If I had not cut the chicane, I would not have been able to avoid colliding with Perez and the same thing happened at Loews with Sutil. As for what Sergio did, I don’t have much to say, his approach reminds me of my own in 2008 and 2009, because when you are not fighting for the Championship, you can take more risks, while for me today, it was important to finish the race and bring home as many points as possible. That approach has allowed me to close a bit on Kimi in the classification and even if the gap to Vettel has grown a bit, we know that sooner or later, an opportunity will come to close up on him too. Today’s outcome doesn’t bother me in terms of the next round in Canada, because we have to consider Monaco a law unto itself, with a different set-up and unusual strategy as well as being a place where it is almost impossible to overtake. We know there is still much to do to improve, but we are looking ahead with confidence.”

Felipe Massa: “Today my race ended on lap twenty eight after an accident at the Ste. Devote corner, just as happened yesterday morning in the third free practice session. I was taken to hospital for all the precautionary checks and luckily everything is in order. I’m alright, I’ve just got a slight pain in my neck, but nothing serious. Now I will look to get in shape and be back 100% for the Montreal race. All I want to do is put this bad weekend behind me and think about doing well in the rest of the season.”

Pat Fry: “First and foremost, I’m pleased that Felipe is okay. Today’s accident looked very similar to what happened in the third free practice session, but in fact the two incidents are very different. Unlike yesterday, it seems that today’s incident can be attributed to a problem on the left front corner of the car. It’s too early to say precisely what happened and in the next few days, we will try and ascertain the exact cause back in Maranello. As for the race, I don’t think it was the Monaco Grand Prix everyone was expecting where usually the drivers take to the track to race on the limit. Today it seemed more a race of containment, with a slow pace dictated by the leading group: it was reasonably clear that the fact the cars were grouped together had thus reduced the strategic choices for those behind. It was impossible to find a space to make a stop and not come out in traffic, especially because the pace of those running at the back was the same as that of those at the front. Furthermore, the various safety cars and the red flag meant the same reasoning applied in the second half of the race and therefore it was a procession for the whole race which would only permit a few risky overtaking opportunities.”

Race
Pos. Time Gap Laps FL L
ALONSO 7th 2:18:18.790 26.734 78 1.19.340 77
Pit-stop 1st stop lap 28 New Soft
Restart lap 47 Old Supersoft
MASSA NC 39:20.111 28 1.20.064 28
Pit-stop 1st stop lap 26 New Supersoft
Weather: air 20/22 °C, track 36/40 °C. Sunny

 

Monaco GP – Monaco misfortune again

Posted: 26.05.2013
Source: Ferrari

Monaco, 26 May – It is ironic that while the streets of the Principality are swarming with beautiful Ferrari GT cars all week long, come Sunday, the single-seaters from the same factory seem to struggle to perform on the Monegasque street circuit. Fernando Alonso had a difficult time of it this afternoon to at least bring home a few precious points for seventh place, while Felipe Massa appeared to have a very similar accident to the one he had on Saturday morning and had to retire, fortunately without nothing worse than a stiff neck. As is often the case at this race, it was won by the man who started from pole, Nico Rosberg in his Mercedes. Joining him on the dais outside the Royal Box was the Red Bull duo of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. Alonso is still third in the Drivers’ classification, while Massa drops from fifth to seventh. In the Constructors’ table, Scuderia Ferrari remains second behind Red Bull, but the gap has grown from 14 to 41 points.

As the lights went out, Rosberg and Hamilton led from the front row, with Vettel in the Red Bull immediately harrying the English Mercedes driver, while behind it was also grid order, Webber, Raikkonen and Fernando sixth. Felipe, starting on the Prime Soft tyre from the back row had moved up to 18th.  The race settled down into the usual Monaco high speed parade, with 5.8 seconds separating leader Rosberg from Fernando’s F138 in sixth on lap 6. However, while the first five were pretty much nose to tail, the Spanish Ferrari driver was dropping back slightly from Raikkonen in the Lotus. On lap 9, Pic had to park the Caterham at Turn 18, as flames licked the rear of his car with black smoke pouring out of the engine cover. By lap 10, the McLaren Button-Perez duo was beginning to get nearer to Fernando, and at this stage, Felipe was sixteenth.

As cars ahead of him began to pit, Felipe went up to 15th on lap 24, while Fernando was 1.8 behind fifth placed Raikkonen. Webber in the Red Bull was the first of the leaders to change tyres on lap 25, which promoted Fernando to fifth. Further back, Di Resta had managed to get his Force India ahead of Felipe. Raikkonen pitted on lap 26 as did Button and Felipe, with Fernando now up to fourth behind Rosberg, Hamilton and Vettel. Fernando switched tyres on lap 28, dropping him back down the order.

Then on lap 29 Felipe’s Monaco weekend came to an end as he appeared to have an almost carbon copy of his Saturday morning accident, except that this time the impact with the barriers at Ste Devote was even heavier. Once out of the car, it was obvious the Brazilian was in some pain and the doctors at the scene fitted a brace around his neck as he sat atop the tyre barriers. The move brought out first the yellow flags and then the Safety Car, which meant plenty of cars diving for pit lane. The leading Mercedes duo actually came in one lap later than the other front runners, so the order behind the SC on lap 33 was Rosberg, Vettel, Webber, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Fernando in sixth who was unable to profit from the SC as he had already made his pit stop, Button, Perez, Sutil and Vergne completing the top ten.

Not until half distance on lap 39 did the Safety Car come in, allowing the race to resume and while Rosberg pulled out a small gap at the front, behind it was frantic nose to tail action with Fernando snapping at Raikkonen’s heels and Hamilton nearly passing Webber at Rascasse. At the Loews hairpin as Fernando momentarily ran wide, he was clipped by Perez but everything seemed to be fine on board the F138. But with no more pit stops scheduled, would there be any way of changing the order? On lap 44 Perez tried a bold move on the Ferrari at the chicane as Fernando rode the kerb to avoid a collision, but it did not stick.

On lap 47, there was a huge crash at Tabac, when Chilton in the Marussia was defending from Maldonado in the Williams and the collision threw the Venezuelan’s car into  barrier which wrapped itself around the Williams, blocking the track. Race Control immediately red flagged the race and the rest of the field reformed on the grid. The cars were released behind the Safety Car for one lap with Fernando, on fresh Super Softs, having been instructed to give his position to Perez after he was deemed by the stewards to have used the kerb at the chicane to keep his position a few laps earlier.  With everyone on new tyres, we now had a 30 lap sprint to the flag.

On lap 52, behind Fernando, Sutil got his Force India past Button’s McLaren at the hairpin, as Rosberg pulled out a visible gap over second placed Vettel and the rest of the pack. Hamilton was putting Webber under a lot of pressure for the final podium position. Fernando was coming under more and more pressure from Sutil and, on lap 57 the German squeezed by at the hairpin in a high risk move, so that the sole remaining Ferrari in the race was now eighth. Lap 62 brought out the Safety Car again, as Grosjean drove his Lotus into the back of Ricciardo’s Toro Rosso on the run out of the tunnel. Racing resumed on lap 67. Lap 70 and the fiery Perez damaged his front wing trying to pass Raikkonen at the chicane, so the Finn’s race was ruined as he had to pit with a puncture, while the Mexican still managed to continue in his McLaren. It was now that Button also managed to pass Fernando. Perez could no longer control his damaged car and dropped back, so the Ferrari man was seventh, ahead of Vergne, in the Ferrari powered Toro Rosso, who was putting him under intense pressure in the closing stages, but the two times Monaco winner managed to keep him at bay, hanging on to seventh place at the flag. Behind the podium trio came Hamilton fourth, then Sutil and Button ahead of the Ferrari man, with the remaining points going to eighth placed Vergne, Di Resta and Raikkonen.

Although this period of the championship is known as the European part of the season, the F1 circus now heads across the Atlantic for a brief North American trip and the Canadian Grand Prix in a fortnight’s time.

 

Monaco GP – The statistics

Posted: 26.05.2013
Source: Ferrari

3 the number of times in the last eight years in which a Ferrari has had to start from the back of the grid at this race. On the two previous occasions – 2006 with Schumacher and 2010 with Alonso – a points finish still came at the end of the day thanks to a fifth place for the German and a sixth for the Spaniard. This time that didn’t happen as Felipe Massa had to retire after crashing into the barriers on lap 29.

6 the points scored today by Scuderia Ferrari thanks to a seventh place for Fernando Alonso. It is the Scuderia’s worst result in this race since 1996, when neither Prancing Horse driver made it to the finish. In 2005, the highest placed Ferrari was Michael Schumacher in seventh, one ahead of team-mate Rubens Barrichello.

9 the number of points finishes for Fernando Alonso in twelve Monaco Grands Prix. The Spaniard only failed to score in 2001 (retired,) 2004 (accident) and 2008 tenth, (at a time when the points only went to the top eight.) His record here includes two wins and a further two podium finishes. Fernando also has a seventh place to his name in 2009, when he was with Renault.

12 the number of years that have passed without a Ferrari win in the Monaco Grand Prix. The last victory for a Red car goes back to 2001 when Michael Schumacher led home team-mate Rubens Barrichello in a one-two finish.

 

Monaco GP – A tough afternoon for the Scuderia

Posted: 26.05.2013
Source: Ferrari

Monaco, 26 May – Fernando Alonso gave Scuderia Ferrari a seventh place finish in the Monaco Grand Prix. Felipe Massa had to retire after an accident on lap 29 of the 78 lap race.

The race was red flagged after 45 laps because of a crash involving Pastor Maldonado, before being restarted for the remaining 33 laps. The closing stages featured plenty of mid-field action to keep the large crowd entertained. Alonso brought home six points, thus maintaining his third place in the championship.

Massa started from the back row of the grid and climbed up as high as sixteenth. He made his pit stop on lap 26, going from Super Soft to Soft tyres. Three laps later, his race came to abrupt end when he hit the barriers on the outside of the start finish straight heading for the Ste. Devote corner. Once out of the car he was taken to hospital for a check-up, where the doctors gave him a clean bill of health.

The race was won by Nico Rosberg for Mercedes.

 

Monaco GP – “Forza” Ferrari!

Posted: 26.05.2013
Source: Ferrari

Monte Carlo, 26 May – Did you like the taster? Now you can listen in its entirety to “Forza, Santander’s Tribute to Scuderia Ferrari,” the song which Santander, the long-time partner of the Prancing Horse wanted to dedicate to the team. The composer of the music and the video that goes with it is Carlos Jean, a Spanish musician, producer and DJ. The main “voice” is that of a Ferrari Formula 1 car, accompanied by special instruments, such as the tools used by mechanics during pit stops, the air guns and jacks. The final result of this very unusual and equally unique orchestra can be heard and seen here: we hope it turns out to be a good omen!

 

Monaco GP – Against all statistics

Posted: 25.05.2013
Source: Ferrari

Fernando Alonso: “Unfortunately, today did not go as we had hoped, even if we tried our very best. We weren’t as competitive as in the first two free practice sessions on Thursday, but I don’t think we can lay the blame for this step backwards on the cooler temperatures, because the conditions are the same for everyone. There was less grip today and on the Softs, maybe we struggled a bit more this morning. I think it’s much simpler than that and we struggled to adapt our car to this very special track, so different to all the others. We usually go better in the race, but it’s a different story here because it’s almost impossible to overtake. This is a race where anything can happen, and we need to be very careful at the start to avoid ending up stuck in a pack. Fortunately, the Mercedes are on the front so that my closest rivals in the classification are not too far, with Kimi starting next to me and Vettel just one row ahead. Let’s hope I can pass both of them so that they can’t pull further away in the championship. I feel sorry for Felipe, as the team did its very best but could not get him out in time for qualifying. I am well aware how starting from the back of the grid here in Monaco can make a difficult race even harder. However, I hope he can do well and that together we can bring home as many points as possible”.

Felipe Massa: “I am disappointed not to have been able to take part in qualifying and it was really frustrating. This morning in the final practice session, I braked on a bump, the car bottomed and unexpectedly both front wheels locked up and from then on, there was nothing I could do. After hitting the guardrail I was waiting for the next impact with the barriers. Fortunately I’m okay, I’ve just got a bit of muscle strain, but the car was very damaged and the mechanics efforts to try and repair it in time came to nothing. It was a lot of work for the team, they all made a huge effort and for this I really want to thank them. It’s a real shame starting from the back, especially on a track where it’s so difficult to overtake, but now we need to be optimistic and concentrate on tomorrow’s race. There will be a lot of work to do to assess if we need to change something in terms of set-up and strategy, to try and come up with something different which might give us an advantage. We know we are starting from a very difficult position, but the race is long and anything can happen. We will try and make the most of any opportunity, pushing to the maximum as usual”.

Pat Fry: “Not an easy day, as we faced an uphill struggle right from the morning, when Felipe had his accident in the third free practice session. The team raced against time to repair the car so that he could take part in qualifying, but unfortunately there were too many damaged parts at the front and rear, so that required a lot of work and there was just too little time to get it done. Qualifying in the wet in Monaco is always interesting, as one has to pay particular attention to the traffic, the yellow flags and the changing track conditions, especially on days like this when the rain comes and goes. The drop in temperature partly compromised our performance and with Fernando we also had a few balance problems: both these factors prevented us getting the result we were hoping for, even if it can be said that the final classification did not throw up too many surprises compared to previous races. In Q2, the decision to switch from the intermediates to the Super Soft was taken at the right moment: in the final stages, the track was dry in parts but the pace of the Mercedes and Red Bulls was very good. Tomorrow we will be fighting against the statistics as the winners here have nearly always started from the front rows, but we will try and make the most of any opportunity that comes our way to move up the order”.

ALONSO – Chassis 299 MASSA – Chassis 300
Q1 P3 1:23.712 New Intermediate – 10 lapsNew Intermediate – 3 laps NC
Q2 P5 1:16.510 Used Intermediate –  5 lapsNew Intermediate  – 2 lapsNew Supersoft – 4 laps NC
Q3 P6 1:14.824 New Supersoft – 4 lapsNew Supersoft – 4 laps NC
Weather: air 15/17°C, track 23 °C. Light rain

 

Monaco GP – A difficult day round the harbour

Posted: 25.05.2013
Source: Ferrari

Monaco, 25 May – The combination of the most famous team in Formula 1 and the sport’s most famous venue does not seem to be working out too well at the moment. This afternoon, Scuderia Ferrari only fielded one car in the qualifying session for tomorrow’s 78 lap race, that of Fernando Alonso. Despite valiant efforts from the crew, Felipe Massa’s extensively damaged F138 could not be repaired in time, in between FP3 in which he slammed into the barriers and the 2 o’clock start for qualifying. In theory, this means the Brazilian will start from the back of the grid on Sunday, although we must wait and see if the strategists opt to start him from pit lane instead, just as they did with Fernando in 2010 when it was the Spanish driver who played no part in qualifying after crashing in the morning on the streets of the Principality.As predicted, it rained during qualifying, a light drizzle that eventually left a dry enough line for those who made the cut through from Q1 to run the second part of Q2 on the Super Soft slick Pirellis. Fernando had no trouble with the first two acts of this afternoon’s performance and went on to set the sixth fastest time in Q3, which means he starts from the outside of Row 3. For the second successive race, Mercedes have got a stranglehold on the front row, with Nico Rosberg again on pole, as he was in Spain a fortnight ago, with Lewis Hamilton alongside him. Here, where overtaking is so tough, the silver arrows will prove much harder to pass than was the case in previous races at more conventional tracks this year.As for Felipe, he could only stand and watch as the mechanics worked ceaselessly to try and get his badly damaged car back into one piece, but there simply wasn’t enough time to effectively rebuild a car from scratch. The slowest and longest race of the year will seem even longer than usual tomorrow, but the Brazilian is not the sort to give up hope and although saying that anything can happen in a Grand Prix is something of a cliché, at this venue it is also the truth.

In Fernando’s case, the Mercedes duo has again given his championship aspirations a bit of a helping hand, as it has kept the two men ahead of him in the classification, Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen off the front row, so that even if the grid order never changed in the race, it would prevent the German and the Finn getting the biggest points haul. Vettel is third on the grid, with team-mate Mark Webber alongside him in fourth, with Raikkonen fifth next to the Spanish Ferrari man. The threat from the next row tomorrow in what is expected to be a dry 78 laps, comes from seventh placed Sergio Perez for McLaren and Adrian Sutil eighth for Force India. The preferred strategy here is to stop just once, as every visit to pit lane can involve a risk of coming out behind slower traffic, but that could be a bit trickier with this year’s Pirellis, so we might see some variety tomorrow.

 

Monaco GP – A cloudy afternoon

Posted: 25.05.2013
Source: Ferrari

Monaco, 25 May – Fernando Alonso was sixth fastest in today’s qualifying. The Spaniard was the only Ferrari driver on track, as Felipe Massa was unable to take part.Despite a tour de force from all the crew here at the track, the Brazilian’s seriously damaged car could not be repaired in time following the accident in this morning’s free practice and Felipe had to watch the session from the pits. He will start from the back of the grid tomorrow.In Q1, all the cars used intermediate tyres because of the drizzle falling on the Monegasque track and Alonso was a comfortable third come the end. In Q2, the track gradually dried and after a first run on intermediates, all the cars came in to switch to the Super Soft slick. On his last lap, Fernando set the fifth fastest time.

In the final part, all the cars used Super Soft and Alonso was sixth, which will see him start from Row 3 for tomorrow’s race. Pole went to Nico Rosberg who took his Mercedes round in 1.13.876.

 

Monaco GP – A race against time

Posted: 25.05.2013
Source: Ferrari

Monaco, 25 May – Nico Rosberg and Mercedes continue to dominate here, with the German having now been fastest in all three free practice sessions. This morning he set a time of 1.14.378, ahead of Romain Grosjean (1.15.039) in the Lotus and Sebastian Vettel (1.15.261) in the Red Bull. Fernando Alonso took his Ferrari to fourth on the time sheet with a lap in 1.15.286, while in the other F138, Felipe Massa languishes in sixteenth spot with a 1.16.105, after his session was cut short by a crash, around half way through. Fortunately, the Brazilian was uninjured, but the same cannot be said for his car which is badly damaged after hitting the barriers hard at the first corner. The team is now checking it over carefully and the crew faces a race against time to try and get it repaired in time for qualifying.

 

Monaco GP – A day of analysis

Posted: 24.05.2013
Source: Ferrari

Monte Carlo, 24 May –Friday in Monaco is the strangest day of the season, as the Formula 1 cars never leave the pits. They stay in the garages undergoing even more intense scrutiny than usual, but that doesn’t rule out the sound of engines, far from it. Various support races took centre stage today: spectacle is always guaranteed throughout the streets of the Principality, even for those who like to watch the action from the hordes of yachts moored on the side of the harbour.
However, this is not by any means a rest day for the eleven Formula 1 teams. Engineers and mechanics turn up as usual in the paddock and the garages. For the former it’s a case of looking to make the most of the extra time available between the end of second free practice and the start of the third session, to analyse the data even more meticulously than usual. For the latter, it involves dismantling and reassembling the cars to prepare them for yet another special day, the one that features qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix.
Naturally, the men and women of Ferrari were no exception to the rule, going about their respective specialist tasks. The engineers also had the support of Pat Fry, who arrived today from Maranello. The Scuderia’s Technical Director is now back in good shape, having recovered from the appendectomy he underwent in Barcelona on the Sunday of the Spanish Grand Prix. He will now take up his usual position on the pit wall for the rest of the weekend.
And the drivers? They were able to relax a bit in what is a particularly demanding weekend, especially from the mental point of view as there is no margin for error on this track. The only official engagement they took part in was the usual autograph session that takes place at every Grand Prix. But you can be sure that both Fernando and Felipe will have met with Andrea Stella and Rob Smedley, their respective race engineers, to hear about the latest findings from the technical meetings. A real driver never switches off from work over a race weekend.

 

Monaco GP – A sparkling appointment in Monte Carlo

Posted: 24.05.2013
Source: Ferrari

Monte Carlo, 24 May – What better than a flute of champagne to toast a meeting? Even better if the toast takes place against the breathtaking backdrop of the Monaco Grand Prix paddock at the most glamorous event, not just of the Formula 1 calendar, but of the whole summer season. Those involved are Ferrari and Veuve Clicquot, two icons in their respective spheres, who have chosen to come together at a series of events, all of the highest quality and exclusivity. “Ferrari choses its partners only from among the leaders and Veuve Clicquot is definitely a marque of excellence in the special world of Champagne,” said Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo speaking to www.ferrari.com about the agreement. For reasons of superstition, what can’t be said is that all Ferraristi would love to be able to celebrate more victories for the Scuderia very soon, naturally doing so with Veuve Clicquot!

 

Monaco GP – Dancing in the streets

Posted: 23.05.2013
Source: Ferrari

Monaco, 23 May – It’s part of the nature of Formula 1 and sport in general in the modern era, that what happens off the court, pitch or track can sometimes take on even more importance than the sport itself, with gossip, rumour and controversy dominating the headlines. However, on a beautiful day with clear skies and warm sunshine, the first time 22 Formula 1 dance around the track on the streets of the Principality of Monte Carlo provides a glorious reminder of what a fantastic sporting spectacle lies ahead over the rest of the weekend at this unique venue.

If this Thursday provided an interesting start to the sixth round of the World Championship, it was also a positive beginning for Scuderia Ferrari, with Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa lining up in third and fourth places on this afternoon’s time sheet. In the morning session, the Spaniard was second and the Brazilian fourth and over the course of the three hours, the Ferrari duo completed a total of 127 laps, 65 for the Spaniard, three more than his team-mate. The two drivers had a trouble free day, both in terms of the F138s running reliably and because neither driver made contact with the barriers.

After qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix, two weeks ago, Fernando said he wasn’t worried by the fact that Mercedes monopolised the front row of the grid, with their third straight pole position. The Ferrari man’s logic was that the silver cars’ race pace was not a match for several other cars including the F138s and he was more concerned with his direct title rivals, Vettel and Raikkonen. Fernando’s Catalunyan victory proved him right. However, if we have a repeat performance here on Saturday, dealing with the Mercedes on Sunday could be much trickier than in Barcelona, as overtaking is so difficult here. Today, Nico Rosberg sent out a warning shot, being quickest in both free practice sessions, the only man to dip below the 1m 15s barrier. And Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton was second quickest.

Along with Fernando, Mark Webber is the only current driver to have won here twice – in 2010 and last year – and the Australian steered his Red Bull to fifth place on today’s last time sheet, ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in the Lotus. Now, the engineers face the usual task, the one undertaken on Fridays at all other races, of analysing the data and that work can continue tomorrow, as track action does not re-start until Free Practice 3 on Saturday morning. Traditionalists still refer to tomorrow here in Monaco as the “day off:” that stopped being the case several years ago, with every available moment spent trying to get the very most out of the cars in preparation for Saturday afternoon’s qualifying session.

 

Monaco GP – Let the games begin

Posted: 23.05.2013
Source: Ferrari

Stefano Domenicali: “ In free practice for the Monaco Grand Prix, the priority is always to make the most of the time available to run on track: today we exploited all 180 minutes available and both Fernando and Felipe managed to complete a high number of laps, so as to gain confidence in this very unique track. In the morning, we concentrated on car set-up, adapting it to the slow and twisty corners that characterise the layout of this track. Here, one of the key factors is dealing with the traffic and that’s important right from Thursday. In the afternoon session, we worked on a comparison between the two compounds, gathering useful data which we will analyse tonight and tomorrow”.

Fernando Alonso: “It’s always nice driving at Monaco, even if it’s very demanding, because here more than anywhere, you need to do a lot of running to adapt to the track and, in more general terms, get used to a very special race. I am pleased that we managed to get through all our planned programme today, which can’t always be taken for granted here as anything can happen! Even if the feelings are positive and we got through the day without any problems whatsoever, we still don’t have a clear idea of the pecking order in the field. We will have to wait a bit to see where all our rivals really are, because here too, until Saturday, no one pushes a hundred percent: the barriers constitute too high a threat to take risks in the first free practice sessions. There’s not much time to do a tyre comparison here, we did only one and the results didn’t throw up any surprises: the Super Softs are a bit quicker and degrade more. All that remains now is to spend all the available time analysing the data we have gathered to try and find the best strategy for qualifying and the race”.

Felipe Massa: “The weekend has got off on the right foot, the car behaved well and I managed to find a good pace. I finished in the top five in both sessions, which is important in such an unpredictable event as the Monaco Grand Prix. However, we are aware that we still have much work to do. Now we will analyse all the data available to try and find the right direction to go in, because here it’s vital to have a car that is both competitive in qualifying and performs consistently in the race. Mercedes has shown that it is quicker and it will not be easy to get ahead of them in qualifying, but I am sure we have what’s needed to take the fight to them”.

ALONSO   –   chassis 299 MASSA   –   chassis 300
First Session P2 1:16.282 27 laps P4 1:16.394 23 laps
                                        Weather:    air 23/24  °C, track 30/36 °C. Sunny
Second  Session P3 1:15.196 38 laps P4 1:15.278 39 laps
                                         Weather:  air 22/23 °C, track 40 °C. Sunny

 

Monaco GP – Dancing in the streets

Posted: 23.05.2013
Source: Ferrari

Monaco, 23 May – It’s part of the nature of Formula 1 and sport in general in the modern era, that what happens off the court, pitch or track can sometimes take on even more importance than the sport itself, with gossip, rumour and controversy dominating the headlines. However, on a beautiful day with clear skies and warm sunshine, the first time 22 Formula 1 dance around the track on the streets of the Principality of Monte Carlo provides a glorious reminder of what a fantastic sporting spectacle lies ahead over the rest of the weekend at this unique venue.

If this Thursday provided an interesting start to the sixth round of the World Championship, it was also a positive beginning for Scuderia Ferrari, with Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa lining up in third and fourth places on this afternoon’s time sheet. In the morning session, the Spaniard was second and the Brazilian fourth and over the course of the three hours, the Ferrari duo completed a total of 127 laps, 65 for the Spaniard, three more than his team-mate. The two drivers had a trouble free day, both in terms of the F138s running reliably and because neither driver made contact with the barriers.

After qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix, two weeks ago, Fernando said he wasn’t worried by the fact that Mercedes monopolised the front row of the grid, with their third straight pole position. The Ferrari man’s logic was that the silver cars’ race pace was not a match for several other cars including the F138s and he was more concerned with his direct title rivals, Vettel and Raikkonen. Fernando’s Catalunyan victory proved him right. However, if we have a repeat performance here on Saturday, dealing with the Mercedes on Sunday could be much trickier than in Barcelona, as overtaking is so difficult here. Today, Nico Rosberg sent out a warning shot, being quickest in both free practice sessions, the only man to dip below the 1m 15s barrier. And Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton was second quickest.

Along with Fernando, Mark Webber is the only current driver to have won here twice – in 2010 and last year – and the Australian steered his Red Bull to fifth place on today’s last time sheet, ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in the Lotus. Now, the engineers face the usual task, the one undertaken on Fridays at all other races, of analysing the data and that work can continue tomorrow, as track action does not re-start until Free Practice 3 on Saturday morning. Traditionalists still refer to tomorrow here in Monaco as the “day off:” that stopped being the case several years ago, with every available moment spent trying to get the very most out of the cars in preparation for Saturday afternoon’s qualifying session.

 

Monaco GP – Silver and Red in the principality

Posted: 23.05.2013
Source: Ferrari

Monaco, 23 May –The Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton topped the time sheet ahead of the Alonso-Massa red tandem at the end of the second free practice session today. Fernando was third in 1.15.196, which was 0.437 off Rosberg’s time. Massa was fourth with a 1.15.278.

Going into the traditional Monegasque “day off” tomorrow, the hierarchy in terms of what to expect in qualifying is not yet clearly defined. This session had to be red flagged after 37 minutes, so that the kerb on the outside of Turn 13 could be repaired. Many drivers, including Alonso and Massa were thus forced to pit, just as they were going for a quick time on the Supersoft tyre.

Fernando had a worrying moment half way through when he came into Rascasse corner to find Nico Hulkenberg’s Sauber going slowly on the racing line. On a quick lap, Alonso managed to squeeze through a gap between the German and the barrier on the outside. After that, the Spaniard and Massa both set their best time using the Supersofts. In the last 30 minutes, the team concentrated on the usual long run tests, at the end of which Alonso had done 38 laps, with Massa doing 39.

 

Monaco GP – All very close

Posted: 23.05.2013
Source: Ferrari

Monaco, 23 May – Nico Rosberg had the honour of topping the first Monaco Grand Prix timesheet of the weekend. He set the fastest time in the first free practice session of the sixth round of the World Championship, which as always here takes place on Thursday, with Friday being a day with no F1 track action. On this the most glamorous and exciting circuit on the calendar, the gaps between the front runners are all very close. Rosberg did a 1.16.195 in the Mercedes ahead of Fernando Alonso who took his Ferrari round in 1.16.282, with Romain Grosjean third for Lotus in 1.16.380. In the other F138, Felipe Massa was fourth with a time of 1.16.394. Both Ferrari men used just one set of the Soft tyre, the harder of the two compounds, while working on set-up, before ending the session with a few practice starts off the grid, as usual here in Monaco.

 

Monaco GP – Alonso: “I could be the first man to win for three different teams”

Posted: 22.05.2013
Source: Ferrari

Monaco, 22 May – “The feeling is good, the team is confident, as we saw we had a competitive package, getting both our cars onto the podium in Barcelona,” were Fernando Alonso’s first words as he faced the press this afternoon in the Scuderia Ferrari media hospitality unit. Yes, it’s Wednesday in Monte Carlo which means it’s time for the usual Thursday programme, just one example of how almost every aspect of this weekend is special on the F1 calendar. “However, Monaco is a unique track where you need a special set-up and confidence in your driving,” continued the Spaniard. “We have had two podiums here in the last couple of years, so we should be competitive again and I hope to get a good result. We can expect Mercedes, who have been on pole for the last three races, to be very strong again and remember they were on pole position here last year with Michael (Schumacher) although he lost that place with a penalty. We know how difficult it is to overtake here, so maybe that makes them favourite here. But we must not forget our main target which is the championship and in that battle, Vettel and Raikkonen are ahead of us, so if Mercedes has to win one race, maybe this is the one and we must just concentrate on finishing ahead of the others.”In Spain, Fernando said he would settle for finishing second in all remaining races of this season, if it meant he would be champion come the end of the year, however, when pressed this afternoon, he admitted he would really like to win on Sunday. “Of course we want to win the championship, but Monaco is a special race, let’s say the most important race of the championship. Because everyone in the world has heard something about Monaco Grand Prix, Indy 500 and Le Mans, the three races that everyone knows about even if they are not motorsport fans. Here we are in Monte Carlo and it’s been many years since Ferrari has not managed to win here and for me personally, I could be the first man to win for three different teams and for sure that is a huge motivation to do it.”

How to achieve that win? “A good lap on Saturday finding a little something more than on the other laps, then a good start, while race pace and tyre degradation don’t count for much,” answered the two times Monaco winner. “You also want a clean strategy, which works well and hope that the Safety Car does not come out at the wrong time. Here the area where we have to up our performance more than at other races is qualifying, historically the point on which we have to work the most.”

Tyres and whether Pirelli would change their characteristics and by how much, has been the hottest gossip topic in the F1 media, but the Ferrari man seemed not to have given the subject that much attention. “I have not formed an opinion on what effect that might have, because we are still waiting to find out what will be the final changes to the tyres,” he explained. “When we know exactly what their characteristics will be and probably we must wait until we have raced on them first, then we will be able to form an idea. From the Ferrari side, we are not taking too much notice of the tyres, as we have an important race to deal with this weekend and we know that the tyres are the same for everyone.”

 

Monaco GP – Massa: “pushing harder than ever to achieve that win”

Posted: 22.05.2013
Source: Ferrari

Monaco, 22 May – With a crowd of spectators hanging off the fence opposite the Ferrari motorhome, shouting his name, Felipe Massa stepped into the Scuderia’s media unit that is parked alongside the Monte Carlo harbour for his first encounter of the week with the press. The all-important Saturday afternoon performance was the first topic on the agenda. “I hope we can be competitive in qualifying this weekend, the situation where we know our car is not the quickest on track,” began the Brazilian. “But I feel we have improved the car a lot since last year, when qualifying was even worse than now. It is not impossible for us to get onto the front row here, if you can do a perfect lap and everything works at its best. This year, we are more competitive and of course, this is a track where grid position is more important as it is so difficult to overtake. If you start behind a car that does not have your race pace, you can lose any chance of fighting for the win. I believe we can be competitive this weekend anyway in the race. That’s partly because I have always preferred the softer tyres which we race on here, rather than the harder ones in the range.”Asked to sum up the factors that could give the F138 an edge at this track, the Brazilian listed some of its qualities. “We definitely have a car that is very good under braking, a car that is very good in high speed corners – although there aren’t many of those here – and a car that is good from a tyre wear point of view, maybe not the best, but good all the same and we hope that these qualities could be good enough to see us win here or at least make it to the podium. After a long time without, I really want that victory and I am pushing harder than ever to achieve that win.

There is talk of a return to more relaxed rules regarding testing in the future, something the Ferrari man was in favour of. “I would be happy if there was more testing,” he affirmed. “This year we know the car, even if we need to understand more about the tyres, but for next year, I think it would be very important to have more testing as the changes coming as a result of the new regulations for the engine and the rest of the car, will be very significant. Next year, the way you drive the car will need to be completely different, with much lower downforce levels than this year.”
Still on the subject of tyres, the Ferrari man was asked for his views on the current controversy surrounding the possible changes to the characteristics of this year’s rubber. “Changing tyres on safety grounds is understandable,” said Felipe. “But you know, In my career so far, I have seen championships where we couldn’t change tyres at all, other years where there was a fight between two tyre suppliers, some where a single pit stop was the norm, even if it made racing a bit boring and others like this one, where there are many pit stops, so Formula 1 has not changed specially this year.”

 

Monaco GP – Victory Puzzle

Posted: 22.05.2013
Source: Ferrari

Monte Carlo, 22 May –Fernando Alonso will pull on a special helmet for the Monaco Grand Prix, the sixth round of the Formula 1 World Championship, taking place on the most famous of all street circuits this weekend. The dominant colours on the helmet are white and gold, to celebrate the Spaniard’s thirty two wins intertwined in the shape of a giant puzzle. His two world titles in 2005 and 2006 are represented by hearts and diamonds, as found on playing cards, on the back of the helmet. The top features a map representing the globe, revealing in a corner a complicated system of gearwheels, symbolising the delicate workings of a robotic mind, which operates perfectly, as must that of a driver in Formula 1. The design was first revealed by Alonso on Twitter and as in past years, this helmet is also destined to be auctioned to raise funds for road safety projects aimed at children, through the Foundation that bears his name.

 

Monaco GP – These drivers deserve our respect!

Posted: 22.05.2013
Source: Ferrari

Monte Carlo, 22 May – The Monaco track has its own unique history as part of the Formula 1 World Championship calendar, not just because of what the drivers have done here but also because of the cars. There is not a single lap where one is not on the limit, hunting for that hundredth of a second at every corner, which could make all the difference come the end of the lap. Everything is taken to extremes in driving and also in terms of the set-up of the car, which is specific to this track and not used anywhere else on the championship trail.“We always ask the drivers to brush the barriers as much as possible, because that’s where the lap time comes from,” explains Rob Smedley, who has been Felipe Massa’s race engineer for many a year. “Once, me and a colleague went to watch a race in one of the junior formulae from the entrance to the Swimming Pool section: well, when we saw how close they got to the barriers at over 200 km/h, we said to ourselves that maybe we ought to have a bit more respect for the drivers!”

Rob has decades of experience in Formula 1, even though he is not yet forty and he knows the secrets of setting up a car for the streets of the Principality inside out. “You need a very good front end to tackle the many slow corners as well as possible,” he explained to www.ferrari.com. “At the same time, you need to bear in mind the undulations, the kerbs and the bumps: the car jumps a lot and so you have to keep a close eye on the braking and acceleration points.”

“Mechanical grip counts for a lot as there are hardly any fast corners, only slow ones, some of which are very tight, like the Loews hairpin,” continues Rob. “From an aerodynamic point of view, you therefore look for the configuration with the most downforce, without getting too concerned about drag. On paper, it’s an inefficient choice, but that’s how it works here. From a weight distribution point of view, you try to go as much as possible towards the rear, which needs to be very stiff, coupled to a soft front end to reduce understeer in the slow corners.”
Like all street circuits, the grip level from the track surface is very low at the start of the weekend. This factor, coupled with the need for the drivers to get used to such a unique circuit, always makes it difficult to understand clearly what effect a set-up change really has. “The track evolution is very significant as bit by bit rubber goes down on the surface from Thursday through to Sunday and usually, that masks the effect of the modifications made to the car,” adds the English engineer. “Then there’s the factor of confidence: gradually as a driver does more and more laps he gets an ever clearer picture of how far he can push before getting to the limit. When all is said and done, that is one of the factors that has the biggest impact on improving lap time!”

 

Monaco GP – the great F1 anachronism

Posted: 21.05.2013
Source: Ferrari

Formula 1 will be free of controversy, Ferraris will be painted yellow with purple spots and hell will freeze over – all these things are more likely to happen than the Monaco Grand Prix losing its place on the championship calendar. The event is an anachronism but that only adds to its charm and helps cement its place as one of the three most famous motor races in the world, alongside the Indianapolis 500 and the Le Mans 24 Hours. One of the clichés about the event held in this fairytale Principality – and there are plenty of them – is that the race itself is a dull procession, but that hasn’t been the case in recent years. The format is unique in many ways, starting with the fact that, while all other Grands Prix have to be run over a minimum distance of 305 kilometres, the Monaco race makes do with 260 and even so, the race has often been stopped before full distance, when it has timed out at the two hour limit.“Monaco is a very special track, completely different to all the other venues we race on,” says Felipe Massa and the Scuderia Ferrari driver ought to know, as he is a resident of the Principality, which means the street circuit is part of his daily life. “Everywhere, you are really close to the edge of the track to the guard rails and you have to drive on the limit but not the slightest bit over it, because the smallest mistake is severely punished in Monaco. It is such a special circuit and I get a great feeling from racing there.”Of the current driver line-up, only Button, Webber and the Scuderia’s Alonso have raced at Monaco more often than Felipe, so the Brazilian has got an intimate knowledge of the track’s secrets. “I don’t think one part of the circuit is particularly more difficult than another,” he maintains. “Every corner is difficult and a big challenge, so in order to get a perfect lap here, you must drive every turn at a hundred percent. At some tracks, if you make a little mistake at one corner, you can make up for it elsewhere on the lap, but in Monaco, the slightest error at one point and you will lose a lot of lap time and that’s what makes it a fantastic place to drive.”

In 2008 on Saturday afternoon in Monaco, Felipe flew to pole position at the race where a good grid position is more important than at any other venue. “Being on pole in Monaco was a fantastic feeling. I had a great car in 2008 and I was also fighting for the win, but unfortunately the race was run in the rain that year and so many things happened that in the end I was third. Back then, the cars had more downforce than the current machines, but I don’t think the fact we have less downforce now changes our approach to the race. In ‘09 and 2010 we had less, but now the situation is much closer. I think we are going to have a lot of fun driving in Monaco this weekend, partly because this year’s car, the F138, is much more stable.”

The Monaco event defies convention in so many ways, with its unique timetable with practice taking place on Thursday and Saturday and its facilities, which although modernised in recent years, wouldn’t pass muster at any newly built circuit. The race also defies the usual conventions regarding strategy. As before, Pirelli will bring its Soft and Supersoft tyres and we are unlikely to see more than two tyre changes per driver in the race, with just one being a preferred strategy if the tyres can do it. Unlike other tracks where you can change tyres when the first set shows sign of wear and then use the KERS and DRS to blast past slower cars on older tyres, that is not so easy on these tight city streets, so choosing the very best moment to make the switch and avoid traffic is the most important call of the whole weekend. This is not something that can be planned in advance as it depends so much on track position in the actual race. Something else you are unlikely to do in Monaco is go from the fifth row at the start to third at the chequered flag, so Saturday afternoon’s qualifying takes on the level of important it had in the “old days.” Fifth row to third is precisely what Felipe did two weeks ago in Barcelona and the Brazilian was delighted with his performance at the Catalan track. “Going from ninth on the grid to end up on the podium in third place was a great achievement for the whole team, for me and for Fernando winning the race,” he recalls. “I was not happy with losing three places on the grid after qualifying, but I had a really great race, during which I managed to overtake many cars on track. We have to make it our target to fight for the podium at every race and of course, what I really want is to get a win soon.”

Why not this weekend?

 

Usually in the red in Monaco

Posted: 20.05.2013
Source: Ferrari

Maranello, 20 May – It’s been many, too many years since the roulette wheel has stopped on Red in Monte Carlo. The last time a Ferrari won the Monaco Grand Prix was back in 2001, when Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello secured an amazing one-two. Since then, no Ferrari has been first past the chequered flag, even in those years when Maranello’s technical superiority seemed beyond doubt, such as 2002 and 2004.However, there have been plenty of podium finishes in the past eleven years, with two second places and six thirds, but very often, something happened over the course of the weekend to see the chances of victory evaporate. For example, how can one forget Fernando Alonso’s accident in Saturday morning’s free practice in 2010? The Spaniard was flying that weekend, however he ended up in the barriers at the start of the session: it seemed innocuous enough, but once the car was back in the pits, it was found that the chassis was damaged beyond repair and would have to be changed. The Spaniard was therefore unable to take part in qualifying and the next day produced a spirited climb up the order, which took him from a pit lane start to sixth at the flag. A similar performance, which ended with a result one place better than that, was produced by Michael Schumacher in 2006. The German also started from pit lane, after being sent to the bottom of the qualifying time sheet following the famous incident at Rascasse. He fought his way back to fifth behind the man who was his Ferrari team-mate for so many years, Rubens Barrichello.Taking pole at Monaco usually means the win is in your sights, as indeed has happened in 26 of the 59 races held in the Principality to date. From 2004 to 2012, the pole man only failed to win once and if further evidence of Ferrari’s lack of success in this race is needed, the exception that proved the rule was provided by Felipe Massa who, on the Saturday in 2008, produced a fantastic lap at what can now be considered his second home race. The next day, the race started in the wet, but things did not go as planned and furthermore, the gods of fortune concentrated on helping the Brazilian’s main rival for the title, Lewis Hamilton, as much as possible, with the Englishman winning the day. Felipe finished third, just as he had done the previous year.

All this means that the Scuderia has a total of eight wins in the Monaco Grand Prix. Apart from the first one, with Maurice Trintignant in 1955, all the others are bunched together in two clearly defined cycles in the history of the team. From 1975 to 1981, Ferrari won four times: twice with Niki Lauda (1975 and 1976,) once with Jody Scheckter (1979) and once with Gilles Villeneuve (1981.) Sixteen years would go by before a Prancing Horse triumphed in the Principality again: in 1997, Schumacher took the first of his three Monegasque wins at the wheel of a Ferrari. Then in 1999 he headed a one-two with Eddie Irvine and in 2001 came the aforementioned double with Rubens Barrichello. Strangely, only one of these eight wins, Lauda’s second, came in a year that was an even number: given this is 2013, maybe it’s time to cross our fingers!

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