Circuit Hungaroring – Budapest
Date 28.07.2013
Laps 70
Distance 306,630 km / 190,572 miles
No Driver Ferrari S/N Team Result
3 Fernando Alonso F138 299 Scuderia Ferrari 5.
4 Felipe Massa F138 298 Scuderia Ferrari 8.


Montezemolo: “This Ferrari doesn’t sit well with me”
A turning point to tackle with a knife between the teeth

Posted: 29.07.2013
Source: Ferrari

Maranello, 29 July – “The Ferrari I saw in yesterday’s race doesn’t sit well with me.” President Montezemolo was very clear when, early in the morning, he opened the meeting with Stefano Domenicali and the Scuderia engineers, the day after a disappointing Hungarian Grand Prix, especially on the performance front. The President asked for an immediate upping of the tempo, right from Spa, to start being a contender for victory again, as had been the case up to the Canadian Grand Prix.As usual, Montezemolo did not mince his words when it came to asking the team to step up a gear. Each one of the engineers present received a “gift” of a knife, along with an invitation – metaphorical up to a point – to put it between their teeth when thinking how to tackle the second half of the season.

This is definitely not the time to start arguing over who was responsible for this or that decision, partly because everything is still possible with nine Grands Prix to go. The points are available and so is the potential to score enough of them to win. Montezemolo is doing his utmost to ensure that the team has all the support and resources it needs, starting with the announcement that James Allison, formerly with Lotus, will join the Maranello team, starting work already on 1st September. However, there is a need to close ranks, without giving in to rash outbursts that, while understandable in the immediate aftermath of a bad result, are no use to anyone.

That was a reference to the latest comments from Fernando Alonso, which did not go down well with Montezemolo, nor with anyone in the team. So, when Montezemolo called the Spaniard this morning to wish him a happy birthday, he also tweaked his ear, reminding him that, “all the great champions who have driven for Ferrari have always been asked to put the interests of the team above their own. This is the moment to stay calm, avoid polemics and show humility and determination in making one’s own contribution, standing alongside the team and its people both at the track and outside it.”

Montezemolo also attended the technical analysis, which went into every detail, leaving no stone unturned, including the subject of the introduction of the new tyres over the course of the last two races, a variable that definitely did not suit the Ferrari. Pirelli’s choice contributed to artificially altering the hierarchy in the field, something that has not pleased the President or the men of the Scuderia. This topic will be the subject of further debate in the near future.


Scuderia Ferrari strengthens its technical structure

Posted: 29.07.2013
Source: Ferrari

Ferrari announces that, as from this coming 1st September, James Allison will join the Scuderia in the role of Chassis Technical Director. At the same time, Pat Fry will take on the new position of Director of Engineering. Both men will report directly to the Team Principal of the Gestione Sportiva, Stefano Domenicali.


Hungarian GP – Still in the game

Posted: 28.07.2013
Source: Ferrari

Stefano Domenicali: “Going into this race weekend, we knew we would be struggling a bit. Today’s result cannot put a smile on our faces because at no point in the race were we competitive. After a promising start to the season, we are experiencing a drop in competitiveness. Now we need to stay calm and not give up, which is what we are used to doing, especially in the most difficult times. We must use the next few weeks to gather some ideas and act promptly. I expect the whole team to react strongly with the intention of improving the car to allow our drivers to express all their potential”.
Fernando Alonso: “Finishing fifth today, maybe we actually did better than what should have been within our grasp, because Mercedes, Lotus and Red Bull were quicker than us, a fact we had already seen from Friday’s practice. This race ends what’s been a generally difficult month for us and, with Silverstone and Nürburgring, is part of a cycle where we were not up to par. However, looking at the points we have obtained, we haven’t lost out too much and today, Hamilton and Raikkonen helped us to keep the gap from growing too big to Vettel in the lead. Now, our aim is to work hard to arrive at Spa and Monza with a more competitive car. There are still nine races to go and the points available are more than enough. The team can do it and the potential is there, so I don’t see any reason why we can’t fight right to the end of the championship, as we have always done”.
Felipe Massa: “Today’s race was difficult from start to finish, because right from the first lap, at turn 5, after making contact with Rosberg, I lost the left part of the front wing. At that time, stopping to change the nose would have lost valuable time, so we decided not to come in, but from then on, the balance of the car was never the same and I lost a lot in terms of performance, suffering a lot with understeer and oversteer and my tyres degraded more than they should have done. I definitely can’t be happy with eighth place, because both in the race and in qualifying, we lacked the pace to fight for the lead. For various reasons, this track doesn’t suit our car, but it’s precisely because things can change from track to track that we must absolutely stay focused now. From now on we will concentrate on the development and on the preparation of the second part of the championship, when I hope we can be more competitive”.
Pat Fry: “The result of this race is in line with our current potential: we knew this cycle of races would be difficult and that the fight for the podium at this track would be out of our reach. Car performance on both compounds did not give us any margin to attack, not even with a more aggressive strategy. For this reason, we preferred to defend our positions from attacks from those behind and from those caused by traffic, opting for a more conservative strategy. Both drivers did their utmost, especially Felipe, who from first lap onwards had to drive with a damaged front wing. Even if we have managed to limit the damage, now we need to make significant progress if we want to fight for the title. The next two races after the summer break take place on circuits that are very different to the Hungaroring and so we will work on various fronts in the hope of seeing our efforts rewarded as soon as possible”.

Pos. Time Gap Laps FL L
ALONSO 5th 1:43.00.856 + 31.411 70 1.25.394 56
Pit-stop 1st stop Lap 12 New Medium
2nd stop Lap 34 New Medium
3rd stop Lap 48 New Medium
MASSA 8th 1:43.25.892 + 56.447 707..111 1.25.176 59
Pit-stop 1st stop Lap 11 New Medium
2nd stop Lap 31 New Medium
3rd stop Lap 48 New Medium
Weather: air  35 °C, track 53/54 °C. Sunny


Hungarian GP – Points but no prizes

Posted: 28.07.2013
Source: Ferrari

Hungaroring, 28 July – Fernando Alonso finished the Hungarian Grand Prix in fifth place and Felipe Massa was eighth, with both drivers having to fight very hard for the 14 points they brought home, on a day when the F138 did not have an answer for the performance of the three teams that filled the four places ahead of the Spaniard. At the start of the week, Fernando said it would make for a stressful summer break if Vettel extended his points lead by a big margin today. Fortunately, the Red Bull driver only increased the gap by five points, as he made it to the lowest step of the podium, behind race winner Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes and Kimi Raikkonen in the Lotus. In fact, the Finn has relegated the Ferrari man to third in the championship, but only by a single point. Felipe is still seventh in the standings and the Scuderia remains third in the Constructors’, but the gap to second placed Mercedes has grown from 3 to 14 points.

Pole man Hamilton got off the line really well to lead Vettel, who was under heavy attack from Grosjean. The opening moments were hectic and some brave moves saw Fernando move up from fifth to fourth, with Felipe coming up to fifth, despite being clipped by Rosberg, who then dropped way down the order. Unfortunately, the contact with the Mercedes had damaged the left side of Felipe’s front wing and that would badly compromise the balance of his F138 for the rest of his race. The Brazilian came in on lap 11 to get off the Softs, running the Mediums for the rest of the race, while his Spanish team-mate did the same next time round. On lap 16, Webber, yet to pit having started on the Mediums, was leading followed by Hamilton, Button third and yet to stop also on Medium, Vettel, Grosjean and Fernando sixth, followed by Perez and Sutil who were being pursued by an eighth placed Felipe. Vettel, who had front wing damage, was coming under increasing pressure from Grosjean which was allowing Fernando to close on them, the gap being 1.1 on lap 18.

On lap 21 Felipe tried to pass Sutil and the two touched slightly, which allowed Raikkonen to get ahead of the Ferrari, while the Force India came back to the pits to retire. The Australian Red Bull driver finally pitted for another set of the Prime tyre on lap 23. Lap 24 saw Vettel get past Button and Grosjean banged wheels with the McLaren driver. Fernando made the most of it to slip by the Englishman, who then came in immediately for his first tyre change. On lap 25, Grosjean made a second stop from fourth place, which meant that, next time round, Hamilton led from Vettel, with Fernando up to third place, 1.6 ahead of Webber. Raikkonen was fifth ahead of Felipe, now back in a lonely sixth place in a Lotus sandwich, nearly six seconds down on the Finn and 3.2 ahead of Grosjean. But the Frenchman closed that gap very quickly and got by on lap 29, to take sixth. At this point, Fernando was also coming under pressure from Webber, on fresher tyres and Felipe’s mirrors were full of Button’s McLaren, the Englishman slipping by on lap 31, when leader Hamilton made his second stop as did Felipe for another set of Mediums.

On lap 33, Hamilton passed Webber and immediately sat on second placed Fernando’s tale, well within the DRS time limit, but there was no overtaking and race leader Vettel and Fernando both came down pit lane on lap 34. Felipe was now ninth, behind Perez and ahead of Hulkenberg. Therefore at half distance on lap 35, the order read, Hamilton, Webber, Raikkonen, Grosjean, Button, who had Vettel right on his tail, with Fernando seventh. On lap 36, Vettel moved up to fifth by dispensing with Button, who pitted for a second time on lap 37, when Grosjean came in for a drive-through penalty for causing a collision earlier in the race. He rejoined in sixth and was soon harrying Fernando. Raikkonen came in from third to make his second stop on lap 42, with Webber doing the same thing from second one lap later, losing just one position in so doing.

The pressure eased on Fernando when Grosjean made his final stop on lap 47, emerging just ahead of Felipe. In the other F138, Fernando made his last stop on lap 48 and in fact, Felipe came in right behind him, as did Rosberg. At this stage, the leading four, Hamilton, Vettel, Webber and Raikkonen had made two stops, while Fernando in fifth was the first of the three stoppers. Behind the Spaniard, Grosjean had got past Button on older tyres to take sixth. Hamilton came in from the lead on lap 50, coming out just behind Webber and as they came to lap a backmarker, the Australian ran really wide, only just managing to hold his position, before losing it to Hamilton, who now found himself second behind Vettel. Fernando was fifth, 16.6 behind Raikkonen and 33.4 behind the leader, while Felipe was eighth, behind Button. Vettel and Webber were both due to make a further stop, the German coming in from the lead on lap 55, rejoining in fourth place ahead of the Spanish Ferrari man.

On lap 59, Webber who had run the entire race so far on the Medium tyre, came in to switch to the Softs, which would be quicker than the Prime but would also have to last 11 laps, as he rejoined fourth, 3.9 ahead of Fernando. However, the Australian comfortably extended that gap and the Ferrari man still had his mirrors full of Grosjean’s Lotus. The Frenchman’s team-mate, Raikkonen was struggling to fight off Vettel as they duelled for second place, behind Hamilton who led with a comfortable 11 seconds cushion. And that was the order to the chequered flag as far as the front runners were concerned, with Hamilton taking his first and Mercedes third win of the season. In the closing laps, Felipe tried to go looking for Button, but it was just too high a target and so he had to settle for eighth.


Hungarian GP – The statistics

Posted: 28.07.2013
Source: Ferrari

0 the number of podium finishes for Felipe Massa in 10 Hungarian Grand Prix starts. The Brazilian has finished in the top ten six times, with one fourth, one sixth, two sevenths, one eighth and a ninth.

0 the number of podium finishes for the Scuderia in the last two Hungarian Grands Prix. Today’s result – Alonso fifth, Massa eighth – is pretty much identical to last year’s when the Spaniard finished in the same place and the Brazilian one further back.

8  the number of points finishes for Fernando Alonso in 12 appearances at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Today’s fifth place is the same result as a year ago, but Fernando has done better six times: once he has won, once he was second, twice third and twice fourth.

77 the points scored by the Scuderia in the second quarter of the 2013 season, 40 less than those brought home from the first five races. To compare, Alonso has lost 11 (from 72 to 61) while Felipe has no less than 29 fewer (from 45 to 16.)


Hungarian GP – Alonso and Massa in the Points

Posted: 28.07.2013
Source: Ferrari

Hungaroring, 28 July – Scuderia Ferrari has come away from the Hungarian Grand Prix with a fifth place finish for Fernando Alonso and an eighth for Felipe Massa. After the first ten races of the season, the Spaniard is on 133 points, third in the Drivers’ classification. Massa is seventh on 61.

Both men started on the Soft tyres and at the end of the opening lap, Fernando crossed the line fourth, one ahead of Felipe. The front wing on the Brazilian’s car was slightly damaged in a collision with Rosberg, but he was able to continue without any difficulty, making his first tyre change on lap 11. Alonso came in next time round, both men fitting Medium tyres.

The race continued with no great changes, although Alonso had to give best to Raikkonen and Webber, while managing to fend off Grosjean in the final stages after his third and final pit stop. Massa also had a tense end to his race, as he tried to attack Button, but the Englishman made no mistakes so the Brazilian had to settle for eighth. Lewis Hamilton won the race for Mercedes.


Hungarian GP – Hot times ahead

Posted: 27.07.2013
Source: Ferrari

Fernando Alonso: “This fifth place is good news after a couple of difficult weekends in Silverstone and the Nürburgring and especially after seeing things improve compared to yesterday, when our race pace left us with even more doubts. Today, we were more competitive thanks to a change of set-up and some modifications on the aero side, done more with the aim of getting consistency rather than pure performance. Traction and turn-in have improved and now we must look carefully at the start to try and make up a few places then and, on this front, the extra grip from being on the clean side should help. Here, it is hard to overtake in the race and so it’s even more important to try and make up ground immediately, particularly if we want to prevent Vettel from increasing his lead. The strategy will be very open, the tyres are new for everyone and the high track temperature means we need to think of a strategy that can be modified at any moment. The podium is always our target and I feel we can fight for it, even though we know it won’t be easy with such strong competition ahead of us”.
Felipe Massa: “Today’s qualifying was extremely complicated and the result does not live up to our expectations: both myself and Fernando pushed to the maximum without making mistakes, but we were not able to fight for the front positions and got the maximum we could. We are well aware of the fact that Saturday is still our weak point and for that reason, we must stay focused on a race that will not be easy, because the high temperatures will impact on tyre behaviour, on the car and on us drivers. Overtaking is almost impossible here, unless the car ahead of you makes a mistake, but I hope I have a good enough race pace to make up some places and bring home the important points that we need”.
Pat Fry: “A difference of over a second between the performance of the two tyres made the choice for the three qualifying sessions relatively simple. The Mediums would not have ensured getting into Q2 and using only the Softs was the most sensible choice, as it also saved the harder compound for the race. Looking at the gap of around five tenths to pole, we can say that, on a high downforce track like this one, we have returned to the situation we had got used to at the start of the season. Tomorrow, we can expect a very hot and demanding race. It will not be easy to make up ground and the tyres will be put under a great strain by the track temperature, which is predicted to be over fifty degrees. Therefore we must be ready to tackle any unforseen situation. Let’s hope that starting from the clean side of the track can give us a chance to make up a few places, on a track which is notorious for its lack of overtaking opportunities”.

ALONSO – Chassis 299 MASSA – Chassis 298
Q1 P5 1:20.652 New Soft – 3 laps P8 1:21.004 New Soft – 3 laps
Q2 P5 1:20.183 Used  Soft – 3 lapsNew  Soft – 3 laps P7 1:20.460 Used  Soft  – 3 lapsNew  Soft – 3 laps
Q3 P5 1:19.791 Used  Soft – 3 lapsNew  Soft – 3 laps P7 1:19.929 Used  Soft  – 3 lapsNew  Soft – 3 laps
Weather:  air 33°C, track 52/54 °C. Sunny


Hungarian GP – Mixed feelings

Posted: 27.07.2013
Source: Ferrari

Hungaroring, 27 July – Our two drivers had a different view of qualifying today: Fernando Alonso looked at his fifth place on the grid as a glass half full, while Felipe Massa, who will start directly behind his team-mate on the grid, from seventh place is more of a glass half empty guy tonight. The Spaniard saw positives in the fact that, he and his team-mate, working with the engineers, had managed to improve the car’s behaviour from Friday, but the Brazilian was frustrated that, despite not making any mistakes, he could not challenge for the front two rows.

Where both men agree is that tomorrow’s 70 laps of this demanding track will be tough on every element, be it man or machine. Even in cool conditions, this circuit never gives a driver a chance to pause for breath. So imagine what it will be like when all weekend, stepping out of the air-conditioned team hospitality has felt like opening the oven door to check that a roast dinner is cooking.

Both our battle-hardened drivers have enough experience to deal with whatever the race throws at them and, if you are not holding all the aces, then an unpredictable afternoon could work in favour of the F138. Clearly, the Prime Medium tyre will be expected to do the majority of laps and the teams have plenty of them, after almost all qualifying laps were done on the Softs, because of their extra turn of speed. At this track, keeping pit stops to a minimum is usually the best way to go, to avoid the inevitable traffic one can run into, because even on quicker newer tyres, overtaking is extremely difficult. However, tyre life will be one of several unknown factors tomorrow, so being flexible in terms of how many stops and when to make them is also an important aspect for tomorrow afternoon. At the moment, it would seem that if one wants to two stop, then starting on the Softs until pitting for Mediums around laps 15 and 45 might be the way to go, while three stoppers could opt to start on the Softs, then stop once again quite soon for another set of the same, with two more stops to run two sets of the Medium. Some drivers will choose to start on the Mediums, but that isn’t an option for the Ferrari men who, having made it into the top ten, must start on the Softs with which they qualified.

From a championship point of view, Fernando’s main concern is that series leader Sebastian Vettel will start his Red Bull from the front row, but on the outside of Lewis Hamilton who secured yet another pole for Mercedes. Romain Grosjean was third for Lotus, with Nico Rosberg completing Row 2 in the other Mercedes. Fernando finds himself on the inside of Kimi Raikkonen in the second Lotus, while Felipe has the Ferrari-powered Toro Rosso of Daniel Ricciardo on his outside.


Hungarian GP – Rows 3 and 4 for the Scuderia

Posted: 27.07.2013
Source: Ferrari

Hungaroring, 27 July – At the end of a very hot qualifying session, Ferrari secured fifth and seventh places with Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa respectively. At one point, the track temperature hit the 50 mark and the drivers in the final top ten shoot-out produced a very exciting session, with the grid positions being decided in the final seconds.

In Q1 both Ferrari men did a single run on the Soft tyres, doing just one flying lap to get through to Q2, the Spaniard in 1.20.652 and the Brazilian in 1.21.004 to go fifth and eighth.

In Q2, they did two runs, first on used Softs and then on new ones. Felipe took seventh place in the dying seconds in 1.20.460 while a bit earlier Alonso did a 1.20.183 to go fifth.

Again, Q3 started with a run on used Softs before fitting the third and final set of new ones. On his very last lap, Alonso took fifth in 1.19.791 while Massa was seventh with a 1.19.929. Pole went to Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes.


Hungarian GP – Looking to qualifying

Posted: 27.07.2013
Source: Ferrari

Hungaroring, 27 July – Fernando Alonso was second fastest in his Ferrari in the final free practice session for the Hungarian Grand Prix. The Spaniard did 13 laps in the F138, the best in a time of 1.20.898, behind the Lotus of Romain Grosjean (1.20.730) and ahead of Sergio Perez (1.21.052) who slid his McLaren into the barriers with a few minutes remaining to the end of the hour. In the other Ferrari, Felipe Massa was fifth in 1.21.151 and he and his team-mate made final set-up evaluations prior to the excitement of this afternoon’s qualifying.


Hungarian GP – Hunting for answers

Posted: 26.07.2013
Source: Ferrari

Fernando Alonso: “As usually happens on Friday, today we managed to get an idea of what sort of pace we should see in Sunday’s race. Conditions look like being reasonably stable over the whole weekend and this will help in analysing the times and strategies of the other teams, in order to understand exactly where we are. The type of tyre has not changed, so we can count on last year’s experience and apart from that, they are the same for everyone. To gain an advantage over our rivals, it helps to understand them as well and as quickly as possible. Here, more than at other tracks, starting from the front is extremely important and for this reason I believe that everyone will try and optimise their cars for qualifying, even if it means sacrificing a bit for the race”.
Felipe Massa: “All went well today and we tested everything on the programme, with the car seeming reasonably competitive. Even the long runs produced positive results and that is a very important factor for the rest of the weekend. Now we must decide which of the solutions we tried can be used for qualifying and the race. On this track, it’s really important to start as far up the order as possible and we will do all we can to be in the game. On Sunday, it will be difficult for everyone, as overtaking is almost impossible here and on top of that, they are predicting very high temperatures, which is a factor that needs to be given plenty of consideration when it come to getting the maximum out of our car”.
Pat Fry: “Overall, today was a good day and we managed to get through our entire programme with no problems whatsoever. During the first session and the first part of the afternoon one, we split the programme between the two cars, with the aim of finding the most suitable aerodynamic configuration for this track. The comparisons between the various components and the two compounds made available by Pirelli produced the answers we were looking for and now, with all the data we have from Fernando and Felipe’s cars, we, along with them, can get down to preparing for qualifying and the race”.

ALONSO   – chassis 299 MASSA   – chassis 298
First Session P4 1:23.099 22 laps P15 1:24.299 19 laps
Weather:  air 28/31 °C, track 37/44 °C. Sunny
Second Session P4 1:21.426 34 laps P5 1:21.544 37 laps
Weather:  air 31 °C, track 48/49 °C. Sunny


Hungarian GP – Desert heat, deserted pit lane

Posted: 26.07.2013
Source: Ferrari

Hungaroring, 26 July – With an uneven number of races on this year’s calendar – 19 – this tenth round of the season, the Hungarian Grand Prix, is as near as one can get to an actual halfway point. It is also the final round before the summer break, but there is certainly no sense of the holiday starting early, as there is plenty going on here on the outskirts of Budapest.

To start with, this is the first race at which Pirelli has brought its new tyres, with the 2012 construction and the 2013 compounds, having had a chance to test them with ten of the eleven teams, including the Scuderia,  in Silverstone last week. It was surprisingly hot in England for the three days, but not when compared to the furnace that is the middle of land-locked Hungary in the height of summer. Therefore, for all teams, assessing the performance of the Medium and Soft compounds has been an important part of the day’s work: with a good grid position vital on this sinuous track, getting the best out of them for tomorrow’s qualifying was a priority, but one matched by the need to ensure they also work well over a long run for Sunday afternoon. Add in the usual tasks of assessing new parts and generally working on set-up and it made for hot times, in all senses of the word in the Prancing Horse garage.

Initial signs seem positive, with 56 trouble free laps each for Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, as they ended the day in fourth and fifth places on the final time sheet respectively.

Quickest in both sessions were the Red Bull duo of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber and this afternoon, third fastest was Romain Grosjean in the Lotus. Behind the Brazilian Ferrari driver, Lewis Hamilton completed the top six for Mercedes.

The pit lane looked strangely deserted today, as a result of a new rule banning media from it during sessions, following the incident at the Nurburgring, when a wheel came off Mark Webber’s car as he pulled away from a pit stop and hit a cameraman. The rule was eventually modified, so that a select band were allowed in to send images of the garage action around the world.


Hungarian GP – Top 5 for Alonso and Massa

Posted: 26.07.2013
Source: Ferrari

Hungaroring, 26 July – The drivers on track and the guys working in the garage share a common enemy this weekend, namely the heat. In the second free practice session, the Hungarian heatwave slackened off slightly, to 32 and 46 degrees for air and track temperature respectively, but the forecast is for much hotter conditions for Saturday and Sunday.  Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa got through the afternoon programme, completing 34 and 37 laps respectively. The Spaniard was fourth fastest with a 1.21.426 and the Brazilian was fifth in 1.21.544. Both men started on Medium tyres before switching to the Softs on which they set their best laps.

The two F138s did various practice starts before moving to a long run test, using both types of tyre to help with planning race strategy. Quickest was Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull with a 1.21.264.


Hungarian GP – Something new under the sun

Posted: 26.07.2013
Source: Ferrari

Hungaroring, 26 July – The first free practice session for round 10 of the World Championship, the Hungarian Grand Prix took place, as expected, in incredibly hot conditions with air and track temperatures of 31 and 44 degrees respectively. Quickest around the twisty track, in Mogyorod, on the outskirts of Budapest was Sebastian Vettel in a time of 1.22.723, with his Red Bull team mate Mark Webber next up in 1.22.982. Third was Kimi Raikkonen in the Lotus in 1.23.010. Fernando Alonso was the best of the Ferraris, fourth in 1.23.099, while in the other F138, Felipe Massa was fifteenth in 1.24.299. The drivers ran different programmes, taking to the track with different aerodynamic configurations, the first priority being to find the best set-up for qualifying and the race. Both drives used just the Medium Pirelli tyre this morning, ending the session with some practice starts.


Hungarian GP – Alonso: “a sad day”

Posted: 25.07.2013
Source: Ferrari

Hungaroring, 25 July – Fernando Alonso’s press meeting was overshadowed by news of the terrible train crash in Spain yesterday. “A sad day, because you go to bed thinking of your problems last night and the little things that went wrong in your day and you want to improve something and you quickly realise how unimportant those things are,” said the Ferrari man. “This news reminds you what is really important in life and there is a feeling of frustration that you can’t do anything, you cannot put the clocks back. Your thoughts are with the families of those involved with the people in that train. Of course, we will try and have the best race possible, knowing that it cannot make these people happy, but we can try and dedicate our maximum effort to them.”

The heat is always a topic in Budapest, with temperatures set to hit the 37 degree mark on race day, but the Spaniard seemed cool about it. “Nothing changes in terms of preparation, whatever the temperature on Sunday, we will do our normal preparation,” he said. “We just need to be a bit more open on strategy, in case we need to make an extra stop because of the tyres, but we won’t know until we start practice tomorrow.” As usual, this race also marks the final event before the F1 summer holiday, which adds to its flavour. “A good result this weekend would be very good for team motivation and our hopes,” affirmed Fernando. “If we can close the gap to Sebastian before the break it would be a good thing, but if it increased, it would make it a stressful break for us and less motivating. So, it’s an important weekend.”

Alonso’s first ever Grand Prix victory came here in Hungary in 2003 and, prompted by a question, he had some unusual memories of that significant day. “I remember my father was here and I was able to hug him. He comes from a very normal job, working in factory making explosives for mines and my mother working in a shopping mall so after the race, I said ‘we win a Formula 1 race and this will be there for all our lives, even if we retire tomorrow, we will be very proud of this victory.’ Immediately after I took the flag, I flew to Poland because we had an event there on the Monday. I don’t know why, but this flight to Poland is one of my main memories, because I wanted to celebrate with family or fly to Spain to see friends and I had to fly to Poland!

Since the incidents in the pit lane at the German GP, the pit lane speed limit has been reduced, media access is restricted and proposals are being discussed to reduce the speed with which pit stops themselves are completed. The Prancing Horse driver had this to say on the subject: “Always when something happens in terms of safety, we must react and we are all in agreement on improving safety. However, finding the way to do it is difficult to agree on. But I think reducing the pit lane speed limit cannot be bad, as it is the same for all the teams and there is less risk for the mechanics. Reducing the number of media in the pit lane during free practice can also be a solution, because sometimes there are too many of them in FP1 and FP2. In pit stops we are all trying to find the limits; of driver reaction time, the wheelguns and the procedure itself, so if they find a solution to increase the time of a pit stop to improve safety and it is the same for all the teams, I don’t think anyone will disagree.”


Hungarian GP – Massa: “the heat suits us best”

Posted: 25.07.2013
Source: Ferrari

Hungaroring, 25 July – It happened four years ago, but Felipe Massa cannot come to Hungary without being asked about the very serious accident of 2009, when he was hit on the head by a suspension spring that came off another car. Asked about it this afternoon at the usual press meeting in the paddock, Felipe began by joking that “I remember 2008, but actually I don’t remember 2009 at all! I’ve always liked this track, it has suited my driving style, but I’ve never managed to get a solid result. In 2008, I had the win in my pocket, but I ended up parked at three laps from the end. Then in 2009, there was the accident, so when I first arrive here, I always think of having a clean race and getting the sort of result that I have come close to getting. So I hope I have a really great weekend.”

Asked if the Scuderia would be tackling this weekend on the defensive, the Brazilian seemed surprised at the question. “We will have to wait and see how we go in qualifying, which will be an important moment for us,” he began. “It’s going to be a very hot weekend and if you ask what suits us best, I would say the heat, so if the car works well, we should expect to have a good race pace and therefore race on the attack not on the defense.  Then it was time for another mid-season tradition, a question about Massa’s future with Ferrari. “Let’s wait and see,” he said. “At the moment my main concern is getting results and the rest doesn’t bother me so much. Good results would not only help me here at Ferrari, but also with other teams, in case there was nothing here.”

Prior to this event, Felipe spent half a day at the Silverstone test session, evaluating the new Pirelli tyres that are being used as from this weekend. “Testing was primarily useful in that we saw the tyres did not fail,” he maintained. “There was not a single tyre problem for us or for the other teams. They went through long and short runs with no problems and they seem to be more consistent, maybe a bit slower over a first flying lap. So I think it was useful. Here, the old data will still be relevant as the tyres are more or less the same as last year. We will have to see what happens in the heat.” On the subject of moves to make the pit lane safer, restricting media access and reducing the speed limit in pit lane, Felipe was not convinced that a slower pit lane would necessarily be a safer one. “I don’t think the problem in the pit lane (in Germany) came from the speed, it came from the fact that a wheel was not properly fixed on the car. In that situation, if a car is doing 80 km/h or a hundred, a loose wheel is still going quickly. It is important to fix all these safety issues and with pit stops now down to two seconds, the possibility of making mistakes is greater than before.”


Hungarian GP – “Todo nuesto apoyo a las victimas de Santiago”

Posted: 25.07.2013
Source: Ferrari

Hungaroring, 25 July – There are moments when one feels impotent when confronted with tragedies that create death and pain. One is left bewildered, not knowing what to do nor how to show support for those who are suffering an unspeakable and indescribable pain. It often falls to sports stars to put out messages of solidarity at times like these, because they are so high profile that there’s a feeling it might serve some purpose. Therefore, this weekend, Fernando Alonso will wear a black armband at the Hungarian Grand Prix and Pedro de la Rosa, also here, has asked the Scuderia to show its support for all the victims of the train crash which happened last night at Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Marc Gene who is at Le Castellet today for an event with Ferrari owners was, in spirit, in the Prancing Horse’s eMedia@unit in the Hungaroring paddock, as his colleagues and fellow countrymen began their media session by holding up a banner that read “Todo nuesto apoyo a las victimas de Santiago” (all our support for the victims in Santiago.)

In the last few years, the Scuderia’s links to Spain have grown ever stronger. First came Marc in 2004, then Fernando at the end of 2009 and finally came De la Rosa at the start of this year to strengthen the Iberian colony in Maranello, not forgetting the strong links between the team and one of its most important partners, Santander Bank.


Hungarian GP – A challenge in miniature

Posted: 25.07.2013
Source: Ferrari

Hungaroring, 25 July – This Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix, the tenth round of the World Championship, marks the mid-point of the season and is the last race prior to the summer break. For Fernando Alonso and Pedro de la Rosa, the weekend got underway with them launching the Shell LEGO Challenge at the Scuderia Ferrari motorhome, a competition run by the Maranello team’s long term technical partner, for any media keen to try their hand at building a Formula 1 car model with Lego bricks. They have until Sunday to beat the time set by De la Rosa (2:45.440) at the end of a close fought duel which saw him triumph over Alonso. The names of the winners will be announced on Saturday and Felipe Massa and Marc Gené will have the task of presenting the prizes to them on Sunday before the start of the race.


Hungarian GP – Hungary, then the Half-Term Holiday

Posted: 23.07.2013
Source: Ferrari

Maranello, 23 July – The Formula 1 season moves along at such a frantic pace that there is very little time to pause for breath, as team personnel are always looking ahead to the next race, the next technical upgrade and the next flight. However, after this coming Sunday’s race at the Hungaroring, the sport faces a 28 day hiatus until the red lights go out above the race track at Spa-Francorchamps to signal the start of the following Grand Prix. It will be time for the summer break and a two week factory shut-down for all the teams, when no work is allowed. Before then, there’s the small matter of 70 laps of the 4.381 kilometre Hungaroring to deal with.What was once seen as an exotic trip into the unknown of Eastern Europe is now a very familiar venue, given this will be the twenty eighth year Formula 1 has visited the Magyar track, since its 1986 debut. Only Scuderia Ferrari’s home race at Monza and the Monaco Grand Prix can boast a longer run of consecutive races on the F1 calendar. Just a short drive from the beautiful capital city of Budapest, this event always hosts a large and vocal crowd, much of its support directed at Ferrari’s Felipe Massa. In a bizarre twist of human nature, what was a life threatening incident at the 2009 race here, became a life affirming moment for the Brazilian and made him more popular than ever with the local fans. “The Hungarian Grand Prix is a very special event for me, that brings back a lot of memories” – confirms Felipe. “Naturally, there are some negative memories from my accident, but also positive ones in that I am here today, getting ready for Budapest, healthy and still racing. I love the fans in Hungary, as I actually have a lot more of them since my accident, so it’s somewhere I am always pleased to go back to and of course I hope I can have a good race there this weekend.”The difficulties and quirks of the Hungaroring are well documented – with 14 corners and a short straight all packed into just over four kilometres, overtaking, even with DRS is never easy, because the corners all run into one another, while dirt off the racing line adds to the risk of making a passing move. However, from a pure driving perspective, it’s great fun for the drivers. “It’s a short track, with a lot of corners one after the other with no long straights” – says Felipe – “Overtaking is difficult, with changes of direction all the time, which make it a fun track. So it’s an old style race track and Sunday afternoon can be tough, but I like going back to these old fashioned venues.”

On paper at least, the Hungaroring might not seem well suited to the F138 and the difficulty in overtaking puts a greater premium than usual on qualifying well and getting a good grid position, a well documented weak point for the Prancing Horse. Felipe is not convinced the pundits are right. “For sure people say the characteristics of our car are not best suited to this circuit and that it will be tough for us to fight for the win here, but I am not sure this is an accurate assessment, because there have been other circuits where we expected our car to be very strong and it was not and vice versa. The important thing will be to get a good understanding of exactly how the car is reacting as quickly as possible. The circuit requires as much downforce as possible, because the speed down the straight is not so important here. You need a car that is very stable and that is kind to the tyres to avoid degradation. I think we can be competitive, so I’m hoping our weekend goes in the opposite way to what people are expecting.”

Last week, Felipe spent a half day at the Silverstone test, his work restricted by the FIA to evaluating the new tyres that Pirelli will supply as from this weekend, which use the 2012 tyre construction with this year’s compounds. It was a useful exercise, as was the two and a half days that Scuderia Ferrari development driver Davide Rigon spent on track, to exploit his “young driver” status, meaning the team could also evaluate different technical settings on the car. Having originally planned to bring their Hard tyre as the Prime, the Italian manufacturer has now nominated the Medium and Soft compounds, a choice which certainly suits the F138 better. “I expect the tyres will be critical again, especially in relation to temperature” – affirms Ferrari’s Brazilian driver. “They will perform very differently in qualifying and the race and I hope we can make the most of the high temperatures.” Indeed, very high temperatures are predicted all week, with the mercury sizzling up to 37 degrees on race day.

Not only does this race signal the start of the summer break, it is also the mid-point of the nineteen race season, a combination of factors that mean a good result on Sunday can be savoured for a while and provide a welcome boost when hostilities resume for the second half of the year. “For a driver, the most important thing is always the race result and I hope this weekend will deliver that for me, as the last couple of races have not been so successful” – admits Felipe. “There was always something happening which meant I couldn’t finish as high up as I should have done. Therefore what I would like most of all is to turn things around, because going on holiday with a good result under my belt would really make the difference.”


Gamut of emotions in Hungary

Posted: 22.07.2013
Source: Ferrari

Joy, fear, excitement, disappointment are all emotions that can be linked to the Hungarian Grand Prix. It has become something of a high-summer classic on the Formula 1 World Championship calendar and the scene of a range of emotions with contrasting fortunes for Scuderia Ferrari and its fans.For example, how could one forget that it was at the Hungaroring in 2001 that the Scuderia and Michael Schumacher would claim both championships at the end of a race that finished in a great one-two for the team? Another double top finish three years later brought the Maranello team its sixth consecutive Constructors’ title along with the guarantee that one of its drivers would win the Drivers’ crown, given that the maths indicated that only Schumacher or Barrichello could finish first.Going further back in time, there are two great victories that stand out: in 1989, Nigel Mansell came from twelfth on the grid to win and then in 1998, Ross Brawn came up with a three stop strategy, considered a very risky choice at the time, with Schumacher playing his part, knocking out a couple of stints at qualifying pace, to take an unexpected win in the F300.

There was disappointment too, such as in 2000, when Hakkinen won from Michael, thus putting the McLaren driver ahead in the classification, after a fightback that a few races earlier seemed impossible. That year, after a win in Canada, Michael had built up a substantial lead, but he then saw it frittered away with three consecutive retirements, in Magny-Cours, Zeltweg and Hockenheim: so when Hakkinen won at the Hungaroring, he led the championship, consolidating his lead a fortnight later in Spa. However, the destiny of this championship would be turned on its head again, as Michael strung together a series of four consecutive wins, which delivered him his first world title with Ferrari, who also won the Constructors’ championship. The disappointment of the 2008 race was very hard to take, especially as there was to be no reversal of fortune. Felipe Massa produced a sensational start to pass both the McLarens right at the first corner to go into the lead. The Brazilian was comfortably in the lead until, with three laps remaining, the engine on his F2008 let him down on the main straight: the ten points that literally went up in smoke that day would cost him and Ferrari dear, given that the title went to Hamilton, only fifth that day, by a single point.

Fear, real fear, the sort that hits you hard was felt by all Ferraristi the following year when a bizarre incident made one fear for Felipe’s life. What are the chances of an incident of this sort taking place, when a damper off fellow-countryman Barrichello’s Brawn GP car hit Felipe on the helmet during Q2? For many of us and of you, there followed anxious days, but fortunately it all ended well, but from then on, it was hard not to think about it on every subsequent visit to Budapest.

Of the 27 Hungarian Grands Prix held to date, Scuderia Ferrari has only won five: apart from those mentioned already (1989, 1998 and 2001,) the roll of honour also features Rubens Barrichello’s 2002 victory and another one for Michael Schumacher in 2004. The Prancing Horse has been on pole seven times, six of them down to the multiple world champion and one courtesy of his team-mate, Rubens Barrichello. There have also been eight fastest race laps, the last from Massa in 2011.

Fernando Alonso’s best memory of the Hungaroring dates back ten years, when the man from Oviedo took his maiden Formula 1 win, the first of 32 to date. In eleven attempts, Fernando has finished a further three times on the podium once in second place and twice in third. He has the same number of other points finishes (two fourths and a fifth.) His team-mate has a more meager tally: Felipe’s best result is a fourth place from nine starts and he has set the race fastest lap in the aforementioned 2011 as well as in 2006.