© FOTO ERCOLE COLOMBO

German Grand Prix Practice – Ferrari

German GP – Alonso and Massa complete the programme with second and fourth fastest times
Nürburgring, 22 July – Mark Webber set Friday’s best time (1.31.711) in the second session of free practice for the German Grand Prix, the tenth round of the F1 world championship scheduled for Sunday at the Nürburgring. Behind the Australian’s Red Bull came the first Ferrari of Fernando Alonso (1.31.879) and the other Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel (1.32.084) while the other 150° Italia of Felipe Massa finished fourth with a lap of 1.32.354.

Friday’s programme was duly completed, with the team evaluating new components on the car; both drivers tried both available tyre compounds – Medium and Soft – and carried out some practice starts from the pit lane.

The third and final free practice session gets under way tomorrow at 11am.

German GP – A straightforward day in the office
Nurburg, 22 July – For the second race in a row it seems that summer has bypassed the Formula 1 calendar, because after a very damp British Grand Prix in Silverstone, we are now experiencing very low temperatures and at least the threat of rain here in the Eifel mountains. However, the conditions are the same for everyone and had little effect on today’s track action. Fernando Alonso ended the day second fastest behind Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber, these two drivers the only ones to dip below the 1m 32 s mark on their best lap. The Spaniard completed a total of 68 laps, which is actually eight more than Sunday’s German Grand Prix race distance. His Scuderia Ferrari team-mate, Felipe Massa posted the fourth fastest time in the other 150º Italia, completing 59 laps, behind the other Red Bull of championship leader, Sebastian Vettel. The Mercedes duo of Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg ended the day in fifth and sixth places. One new name on the time sheet this weekend, as Jarno Trulli has stepped down for this race at Team Lotus to allow their reserve driver, Karun Chandhok to tackle a whole Grand Prix weekend, something the Indian will also do at his home race later in the year.

It was a busy but straightforward day for the Prancing Horse, as both drivers worked through the usual tyre comparison – as well as evaluating experimental Soft tyres that Pirelli made available to all teams and trying some additional aero updates brought to the track for the first time here. The only unscheduled excitement came in the afternoon session when Fernando got sideways and ran across the gravel, avoiding another car.

German GP – Two trouble-free Grands Prix
A good first day at the Nurburgring
The start of the German Grand Prix weekend did not throw up any major surprises, so that it was a normal Friday in fact with no need to embellish the description of the work carried out. It centred on evaluating some new technical components and on a comparison of the two types of tyre supplied here by Pirelli, who also brought along an additional experimental Soft compound to try. Thanks partly to these two extra sets of tyres, the two Scuderia drivers racked up no less than 127 laps; 68 for Fernando Alonso and 59 for Felipe Massa, equivalent to a total of 653 kilometres.

Fernando Alonso: “A normal sort of Friday just like any other. First impressions from the car are good, which confirms that we are working in the right direction. I’ve said it before, it’s not a case of a miracle having happened at Silverstone, because of the regulations relating to the exhausts. That result was down to the many improvements introduced race after race, as could be seen from the fact that, even from Monaco, we had returned to a good level in terms of being competitive and here too, where we are back to the Valencia rules, we are at the front end of the field. In theory, the cold is not a friend to us: in these conditions, the Red Bull has even more of an edge, but it’s up to us to adapt as well as possible to these conditions. On top of that, the low temperatures can also impact on our strategy for qualifying, given it’s not easy to do a time right from the first timed lap. It if was to rain, the situation would be even more complicated. The incident with Michael? Nothing happened, maybe he didn’t see me coming and then I had to brake suddenly. And then, on a Friday much like any other, a bit of excitement is quite welcome…”

Felipe Massa: “It was a good day: we had so much work to get through and we managed to do it in both sessions, without having any problems. I would say we can be reasonably satisfied with our level of competitiveness, even if it’s too soon to say if we can fight for something important. The pace over a long run is not bad on both types of tyre: there is quite some difference between the Prime and the Option and we will need to keep that in mind when coming up with our race strategy. It’s a bit of a struggle to do a time immediately on the first lap, even with the Soft, but I think it’s the same problem for everyone. I like this circuit: there are climbs and descents and a lot of changes of direction which make it fun to drive. Sure, if on top of that you have a quick car then you can have even more fun!”

Pat Fry: “We had a very full work programme that we managed to complete without any reliability problems, which is always a good way to start a race weekend. Felipe and Fernando did practically two Grands Prix distances between them, picking up a lot of data that is now being studied by our engineers. There were various elements being assessed, both for this race and for the forthcoming ones: we will now try and put together the best possible package for the rest of the weekend. It’s hard to say where we are compared to the others because of the usual unknowns regarding fuel loads and also because of the different programmes being run. From what we could see, the low temperatures are certainly not helping when it comes to getting the tyres working at their best right from the first lap, especially with the Medium compound. Tomorrow, qualifying could be affected by rain, which means it will be important to do a good job of managing the tyres and the strategy.”

First session Second session
Driver Pos. Time Laps Pos. Time Laps Chassis
F. Alonso 1st 1.31.894 30 2nd 1.31.879 38 290
F. Massa 4th 1.32.681 23 4th 1.32.354 36 288

Weather

First session: air 14/15 °C, track 15/18 °C; cloudy.
Second session: air 15/17 °C, track 15/19 °C; cloudy.