ferrari-logo-2011Spanish GP – Promising validation work for Alonso and Massa

Montmelo 10 May – The Spanish weather improved for the second free practice session on the Barcelona circuit, so that drivers and teams were able to get through their programmes on a completely dry track.

Fernando Alonso was second fastest, with a time of 1.22.825, just 0.017s off the fastest man, Sebastian Vettel. Felipe Massa ended up fifth, setting a time of 1.23.110.

The first runs saw many drivers come out on the “Prototype” Hard tyres supplied by Pirelli. Alonso did 6 laps on this rubber, one more than Massa, after which the rest of the programme resumed.

Apart from the usual set-up and long run work, the Scuderia engineers were also evaluating technical updates introduced on both F138s for this Spanish weekend. In total, Alonso did 35 laps, with Massa doing 37.

Spanish GP – A competitive start

Fernando Alonso: “The signs from today are positive, as we were quick in both the morning and afternoon and the car seems to be well balanced on light and heavy fuel loads. But it is always premature to try and draw conclusions on a Friday when everything seems to be going well, because in the past we have seen how our competitors can take off in qualifying. We have a great deal of data to analyse this evening, especially because the rain in the morning meant we had to squeeze almost all our planned programme into the second session when it was dry. The feeling is definitely good and even though we are aware it won’t be easy, we are sure we can fight it out with the best. I don’t expect any great surprises compared to Bahrain and I think the top group is now defined, with Red Bull, Mercedes, ourselves and Lotus, although we need to see how much McLaren manages to improve, while also keeping an eye on Force India, who have been very strong in qualifying and the race”.
Felipe Massa: “Everything went well today, even if this morning’s rain reduced the amount of time we had to test everything we had planned for the first session. We began that job as soon as the track dried and then finished it off in the afternoon session, paying maximum attention to the handling of the car on both types of tyre Pirelli has brought on this track, especially the new Hard. Even on the long run, the car seemed competitive and this makes me confident and so I hope we can continue to do well right to the end of the weekend”.
Pat Fry: “This morning’s rain strongly affected the work we had planned for today, preventing us from completing a sufficiently representative evaluation of the updates we brought here to Barcelona. We have got an immediate and positive validation for some of these, but with others, we will have to wait for the next races and hope for better weather. But it’s normal that if, apart from evaluating updates, one also has to pay particular attention to the tyres, a vitally important element in this season, everything gets more complicated. When the sun finally came out, thanks to a programme split between the two drivers, we were able to get a substantial amount of data on the Hard and Medium compounds. First impressions seem positive: both on a single flying lap and on a long run, we were always in the top five and the new Hard compound shows improvement in terms of performance and degradation. As usual, now we can expect a long night analysing in depth the performances we have seen today and making a more precise comparison with the competition”.

ALONSO   –   chassis 299 MASSA   –   chassis 300
First Session P1 1:25.252 20 laps P2 1:25.455 20 laps
                        Weather:  air 17/18  °C, track 19/21 °C. Cloudy, rain at the beginning
Second  Session P2 1:22.825 35 laps P5 1:23.110 37 laps
                                         Weather:  air 22/23 °C, track 31/35 °C. Sunny

Spanish GP – A good start

Montmelo (Barcelona,) 10 May – The first European event of the Formula 1 World Championship, following on from the opening two sets of back to back races, got off to a wet start in Montmelo. In changing conditions with the track drying out patchily after rain started falling around one hour before the start of the session, Fernando Alonso was fastest for Ferrari in a time of 1.25.252, ahead of team-mate Felipe Massa, who posted a 1.25.455. Third fastest was Jean-Eric Vergne (1.25.667) for Toro Rosso. Both Ferrari men managed a short run on the P Zero Orange tyre, the new Hard compound from Pirelli, running different programmes so as to get through a test of the various updates brought to the Catalan track. The team will continue to evaluate them in the second session that gets underway at 14h00.