From the Nürburgring to Budapest: a team divided into two parts


Maranello, 25 July – We are in the final rush of this highly intense month of July, which contained a full three races on the calendar. After the German Grand Prix, where Fernando Alonso took his fifth podium of the season and Felipe Massa took fifth place at the end of a very hard-fought race, the team split up: the engineers flew to Bologna yesterday evening where a packed series of technical meetings awaits them. Meanwhile the mechanics worked into the night in the garage to overhaul the two 150° Italia cars that were then loaded into the trucks and immediately sent off to the Hungaroring, where the Hungarian Grand Prix is scheduled to take place on Sunday. After a night’s rest, the group headed by chief mechanic Francesco Uguzzoni departs today for Budapest. They will return to the track tomorrow morning with a new pit garage to fit out before getting back to work on Fernando and Felipe’s cars.

“In the cold light of day we can confirm that the German Grand Prix was a positive one for us,” Team Principal Stefano Domenicali told “We scored more points than our opponents and I believe that we had the potential to take even more. I’m especially sorry for Felipe, who lost a good fourth place right at the end because of a problem with the nut on his left front wheel. That means there is no doubt that we have also made good steps forward in the area of track operations.”

The figures support Domenicali’s words. It’s not by chance that yesterday Alonso had the best pit stops of all: Fernando lost a total of 1.00.440 in the pit lane for his three stops, three tenths of a second better than Vettel, five tenths better than Schumacher and 1.4 seconds better than Hamilton. It’s true that Felipe had a total time of 1.02.432 and the problem at his last pit stop cost him a position. But a glance elsewhere shows Webber was not very quick either (1.02.063), further confirmation that perfection is always difficult to reach in any area.

“I would like to congratulate Fernando again as he is putting together a series of excellent results, so much so that he has the most points of anyone in the last three races,” added Domenicali. “We have confirmed that we are also competitive in weather conditions that are not favourable and this is important. Certainly if we had had temperatures that aren’t even like summer – but at least like spring – I think that we could have had more chance! What we can do instead is to improve the way in which the car gets temperature into the tyres: it’s an aspect that is increasingly important, as we clearly saw yesterday at the second pit stop.

“We had managed to get Fernando out onto the track ahead of both Webber and Hamilton but he couldn’t defend as he would have liked from the Englishman’s attack – simply because the tyres were too cold. The same happened in an even more pronounced way at Silverstone because the track was also wet. Traditionally our cars are easier on tyres, a factor that offers an advantage over long distances as we have seen this year, but it is harder for us to get them up to ideal working temperature. Now we’ll have to find a compromise between these two demands, a job that is certainly not straightforward.”