British Grand Prix Results – Ferrari
British GP – Alonso takes first Ferrari win of the year
Silverstone, 10 July – Silverstone in England turned into the scene of Ferrari’s first win of the season courtesy of a majestic drive from Fernando Alonso. Behind the Spaniard’s 150º Italia came the Red Bull duo of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, while in the other Ferrari, Felipe Massa came home fifth.
A big points haul and a morale booster for the whole team, who are now already looking ahead to the next round, the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring on 24 July.
British GP – Sixty years on, history repeats itself. Ferrari on top at Silverstone
First win of the year for Scuderia Ferrari, thanks to Fernando Alonso on the very same track where, sixty years ago, José Froilan Gonzalez took the team’s first ever win. Today’s victory is number 216 from 821 starts for Ferrari, of which 16 of them have come at the British Grand Prix. This is Fernando’s second victory at Silverstone, his 27th win from 168 starts, which puts him level with Jackie Stewart in fifth place in the list of all-time winners. Today’s result means that a Ferrari driver has been on the list of winners every year for the past eighteen championships.
Luca di Montezemolo: “At last! Hearing the Italian National Anthem being played at Silverstone, the same venue at which we won our first ever Formula 1 race, was something I found particularly emotional. This is Ferrari, a team that never stops fighting, never throws in the towel, at the top level for sixty years. I want to thank Domenicali and the whole team, both those at the track, who did a perfect job today and those at home, whom I’d asked to put in a huge effort, not just for us but also for our fans. Fernando was brilliant, driving an extraordinary race and Felipe also did very well, fighting right to the very end.”
Stefano Domenicali: “Today is a wonderful day for all of Ferrari. Winning at such a famous circuit as Silverstone, with its rich and fascinating history, in front of an extraordinary crowd, is cause for great satisfaction. This result has been a long time coming but it’s definitely not down to any miracles. We reacted after a very difficult start to the season, working very hard with much determination, all of us, including those who no longer work with us. We were competitive all weekend long and in all conditions: it confirms that everything went the right way. Congratulations to Fernando who delivered an extraordinary performance throughout the weekend and to Felipe, who fought tooth and nail right to the very last lap. The engineers say that if you are quick at this track then you can be competitive at many of the tracks on which we have yet to race. I hope that’s really the case then! We don’t want to do any calculations regarding the championship. We must tackle each race as it comes with this same approach, without letup. This evening we can enjoy the moment, but as from tomorrow morning, we will turn our attention to the German Grand Prix.”
Fernando Alonso: “What a wonderful surprise! The team did an amazing job and I dedicate this win to everyone at Maranello and at the track, whose work has allowed me and Felipe to drive such a good car. It is a very special win because it comes at a legendary track like Silverstone, in front of a crowd that is so enthusiastic about cars. Also, the track characteristics were not really suited to our car, but clearly, the improvements we brought here helped a lot. At the start, it was not easy to drive because parts of the circuit were very wet and others were only damp in parts. There were some tricky moments, like when Hamilton overtook me, but we stayed very calm all the time, convinced we could get something out of it. I only realised I could win when I came back out on track after the final pit stop. Clearly the problem at Vettel’s stop helped, as did the fact that, for a long time, Hamilton kept the two Red Bulls behind him, but I have to say that in the dry we were very strong. Earlier today, I had the privilege to drive the 375 F1 and then, a few hours later, to win the same race for Ferrari sixty years later. In our team, there are children of people who worked for the Scuderia back then and they have the same love and passion for racing as there was back then. We head for Germany with our morale up and with more self confidence. The Red Bull is still the strongest car, but the improvements we are introducing are working. When we were struggling at the start of the season, we did not get downhearted, but instead we reacted: now we have reaped the rewards.”
Felipe Massa: “First of all, I want to congratulate Fernando, who drove a great race to give Ferrari a very important win. Sixty years ago, Gonzalez won for the first time and today history has repeated itself. I think we have made a step forward this weekend in terms of performance, both in qualifying and the race. It’s true my pace wasn’t amazing today, but that could have had something to do with the fact my floor was damaged, after I hit something at Turn 6; maybe a part from another car. In terms of the strategy, maybe we could brought forward the second stop a bit, but the team did not want me to end up having to complete the final part of the race on tyres that were too worn. In the end, I closed right up to Hamilton, as he was struggling, but when I was behind him, he fought and I only just missed out by a fraction on getting past him. We have to continue to push on the development of the car: there are many races still ahead of us and having improved the car means we can feel more confident about the second half of the season.”
Pat Fry: “It’s very satisfying to get the first win of the season here, on a track that definitely did not suit us that well. Putting to one side the entire saga regarding exhaust gases, I think our performance today was mainly down to seeing the benefit of the improvements we have introduced race after race, especially here, where we had so many updates aimed at increasing performance on tracks that have these characteristics. For that, I want to thank everyone who has worked so hard in Maranello over the past weeks to close the gap that was there at the start of the season. We were not particularly quick on the intermediates, but probably Fernando wanted to avoid pushing too hard in the opening laps in order to look after the tyres. We also had a few difficulties when we switched to the dry tyres because, as the track was still damp, they did not get up to temperature immediately, but after that our pace was very good. Again today our pit stops were very good and even this is an area where we introduced improvements that delivered results. Maybe we didn’t get the calls quite right when it came to Felipe’s strategy, leaving him out on track a few laps too long. Now we must continue working this way and turn up in Germany with a car that is even quicker.”
Driver Pos. Time Gap Laps FL
Alonso 1st 1:28.41.196 – 52 1.34.908
Massa 5th 1:29.10.206 +29.010 52 1.35.474
Weather: air 19/21 °C, track 20723 °C; cloudy, wet track at the start
Chassis: Alonso 290, Massa 289
British GP – Sixty years on
14 July 1951 – Froilan Gonzalez gives the Scuderia its first ever Formula 1 win in the British GP at Silverstone.
10 July 2011 – 60 years later, Fernando Alonso gives the Scuderia its first win of the year…
Silverstone, 10 July – It was the dream result in so many ways: it was the halfway point of the season, it took place at one of the most historic venues on the Formula 1 calendar and it came only hours after he drove the Ferrari that took the win here sixty years ago. So, it was almost too much to hope for, but at the end of 52 laps, Fernando Alonso gave Scuderia Ferrari its very first win of the 2011 season, while Felipe Massa also drove an attacking race to pick up more valuable points with a fifth place finish. The Spaniard was joined on the podium by the two Red Bull drivers, Sebastian Vettel who finished second and Mark Webber third.
Sunday looked like being the first completely dry day of the meeting, but shortly before the start, a short shower ensured that all 24 cars started the race on intermediate rain tyres. As the lights went out, Vettel immediately passed his Red Bull team-mate Webber to take the lead, with Fernando attacking the Australian but staying in third. Felipe lost out to Button, but retook the McLaren on lap 2 to regain his grid position (fourth.) Button was then passed by his team-mate Hamilton, who had come up from tenth on the grid, so the order on lap 3 was Vettel, Webber, Alonso, Massa, Hamilton, Button with Di Resta seventh. Then came Kobayashi, Schumacher and Maldonaldo completing the top ten.
Vettel, with a clear track ahead had built up a 5.4 second lead after 6 laps, while Fernando was 2.6 behind Webber, with Felipe a further 2.4 behind his team-mate. On lap 7, the Spaniard had slashed a further half second off the gap to the Australian. Two laps later and Fernando was right on the Red Bull’s gearbox, while Felipe was coming under increasing pressure from fifth placed Hamilton. Schumacher brought his Mercedes in on lap 9 after losing his front wing, having crashed into Kobayashi. At this point, the German then became the first driver to try slick tyres. Button, Sutil and Kobayashi all switched to slicks on lap 11. Also in were Maldonaldo, Buemi, Petrov, Barrichello, Glock, and Liuzzi. Meanwhile Hamilton got past Felipe but only briefly as the McLaren ran wide.
Webber, Alonso and Hamilton all stopped on lap 12. They were followed in by Perez and Alguersuari. Vettel and Felipe pitted on lap 13, the German maintaining the lead as he rejoined the track. Felipe now found himself under attack from the other McLaren, that of Button, who actually got past the Ferrari at Vale corner. At this point, Schumacher was given a stop-go penalty for causing the incident with Kobayashi. The McLarens were evidently more comfortable on slicks in the damp as lap 15 saw Hamilton demote Fernando to fourth. This meant that with the whole field on slicks, the order at the front, was Vettel, 1.2 ahead of Webber, who had a huge 6.1 lead over Hamilton, the Englishman leading fourth placed Alonso by 0.8. Button was almost four seconds down on the Spaniard and had Felipe 3.6 behind him. On lap 24, Fernando was getting on terms with Hamilton again, pulling alongside and eventually going past to get back to third place. The Spaniard set a race fastest lap, as Hamilton pitted for a second time. Kobayashi parked the Sauber at the side of the track with smoke coming from the back.
Di Resta who had started sixth lost a lot of time when he made his second stop, as the crew had his team-mate’s tyres out instead of his. Webber pitted on lap 26, followed down pit lane by Button and Felipe and Buemi. Vettel and Alonso pitted together on lap 27, but the German had a slow stop which meant that as the red 150º Italia rejoined the track, Fernando Alonso was leading the British Grand Prix, but he had Hamilton all over his gearbox, as the Englishman’s tyres were more up to temperature than his. Meanwhile the second run of pit stops meant that behind Alonso and Hamilton, Vettel was now third, followed by Webber and Button with Felipe in sixth, comfortably ahead of Rosberg.
With 20 laps of the 52 remaining, Fernando had a 6.8 second lead over Hamilton, with Vettel half a second back in third. Webber was 0.8 behind his team-mate, followed by Button who was closing up on the lead four, with Felipe trailing the McLaren by 3.3 seconds. Vettel made his third stop on lap 36 and when Hamilton came in one lap later the German was back ahead of the Englishman. Webber came in on lap 38 and Fernando one lap later, followed by Button, who parked his McLaren after exiting the pit lane, as his right front wheel nut had not been replaced. This meant that, on lap 40, with all the leaders except Felipe having made three pit stops, the order was, Fernando leading by 10.3 seconds from Vettel, with Hamilton third and Felipe fourth ahead of Webber. The Brazilian Ferrari man made his third stop on lap 41, rejoining in fifth spot. Lap 45 and there was a change in the podium order as Webber managed to take third off Hamilton, who had been told to save fuel.
As has so often been the case this year, the closing laps, as tyres reached the end of their life, got very exciting. Webber was all over the back of second placed Vettel until team instructions from the pit wall told him to maintain station, but the biggest excitement came at the very last corner, as Felipe made one last desperate attempt to take fourth place off Hamilton, even going off the track in his efforts and having to settle for fifth at the flag. By this stage, Fernando had buzzed the pit wall, comfortably ahead of Vettel and Webber. Hamilton had been told he had to save fuel so Felipe had been closing and closing, even pulling alongside the McLaren. But catching and passing are very different and the Brazilian just could not manage it, even though he went off the track at the final corner he was trying so hard. This meant Hamilton hung onto fourth and Felipe was classified fifth ahead of Nico Rosberg.
The rest of the points went to seventh placed Perez, then came Heidfeld, Schumacher and Alguersuari. Next stop the famous Nurburgring in a fortnight’s time. The Scuderia can tackle with high hopes and in good spirit after this great weekend in England.