ferrari-logo-2011German GP – Something extra

Fernando Alonso: “Today went better than last Friday and even if there is still a long way to go, in general we seem to have made a step forward and returned to the level of competitiveness which we had prior to Silverstone. One of the positives was the behaviour of the tyres which worked well today and did not create any problems. Unfortunately, we lost the morning session because of a programming problem on the electronic control unit, which we then changed. That halved our work programme and this evening we will have to do all we can to make up for it, but we already have an idea of where and how to make changes, because Mercedes, Red Bull and Lotus are ahead of us and we want something better than being the third or fourth team in the classification”.

Felipe Massa: “It was a particularly busy day, because we had a lot of things to test and we did as many laps as possible in order to complete the programme. We split the time between assessing the Pirelli tyres and a long run test. There is a big difference between the two compounds, caused by the high degradation of the Softs compared to the Mediums and it will be interesting to see how much influence this will have in the race. As usual, choosing the right strategy will be very important. Qualifying remains our weak point, because usually we are less competitive than in the race and that’s why we will do our utmost to try and start from as far up the grid as possible. Over a long run, the car behaved well and this makes me very confident for Sunday”.

Pat Fry: “After a series of rain affected Fridays, today we hoped for conditions that would allow us to evaluate various solutions and to put together the best possible package for the weekend. Unfortunately, the problems with the electrical system on Fernando’s car affected part of the work which we had planned and the major part of the data that our engineers now have was aquired in the afternoon session. Felipe and Fernando completed the usual tyre comparision and the first impressions are that the new kevlar construction has not affected the balance of the car. Certainly, we will have to do a lot more work to get the tyres working as well as possible: it will be very important to succeed in finding a set-up that allows us to manage the degradation as well as the phenomenon of graining, which is much more accentuated here than at other circuits we have been to so far”.

ALONSO   –   chassis 299 MASSA   –   chassis 298
First Session 2 laps P6 1:33.065 18 laps
                                        Weather:    air 16/18  °C, track 19/23 °C. Covered skyes
Second  Session P6 1:31.056 39 laps P7 1:31.059 41 laps
                                         Weather:  air 19 °C, track 26/27 °C. Cloudy

German GP – Return to pre-Silverstone form

Nurburg, 5 July – The Formula 1 media can often seem like bloodhounds, as they doggedly follow a story, long after the scent has faded. That’s been the case so far in Germany, where the tyre problems at the British Grand Prix have filled many column inches and taken up several gigabytes of web space. Pirelli has come up with a solution for the weekend and today, no one, including the two Scuderia Ferrari drivers had any specific problems. That’s good news and there was more of that from the Prancing Horse camp, as the F138s certainly seemed more at ease at the Nurburgring, showing a pace that was more like what we had seen in the races prior to last weekend in Silverstone. However, the day was not exactly trouble free, as Fernando Alonso’s car suffered an electrical problem in the opening minutes of the morning practice and effectively took no more part in the rest of the session. Felipe encountered no such difficulties and by the afternoon, the Brazilian was joined on track by his Spanish team-mate, so that by the end of the day, Felipe had done 59 laps – one short of Sunday’s race distance – and Fernando completed 41 on his way to sixth place on the time sheet, one place ahead of Felipe.

Although the tyres worked fine, it’s clear there is quite a difference in the behaviour of the Medium Prime and the Soft Option, so that working out the best strategy for Sunday is going to be an interesting exercise for everyone, while getting the very most out of the tyres for tomorrow’s qualifying will also be one of the topics of tonight’s lengthy engineering meeting.

For a change, a Mercedes did not top the time sheet today, although Silverstone winner Nico Rosberg was second fastest, but the Friday “pole” went to series leader Sebastian Vettel and his Red Bull. The German’s team-mate Mark Webber was third, followed by the Lotus duo of Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen. The weather has been dry all day and warmer, sunnier weather is forecast for Saturday here in the Eifel mountains.

German GP – A la recherche du temps perdu!

Nuburgring, 5 July – Scuderia Ferrari took to the track for the second free practice session with the intention of making up for the time lost in the morning with Alonso’s car. With the electrical problem on his F138 solved, the Spaniard was then able to get 39 laps under his belt, setting the sixth fastest time of 1.31.056. He did two runs on Medium tyres, then switching to the Soft, followed by the usual long run test.

Felipe Massa was seventh in 1.31.059, completing 41 laps, running a similar programme to his team-mate, but with more visits to the pits. Felipe also ran the first half of the session on the Mediums, before switching to the Softs before going back onto the Prime again for a long run. Fastest was Sebastian Vettel, with a 1.30.416 in the Red Bull.

German GP – The early bird fails to catch the worm

Nurburg, 5 July – This morning, practice for the German Grand Prix, the ninth round of the World Championship, got underway on a dry track and with spring-like temperatures. Felipe Massa was sixth fastest in his Ferrari in a time of 1.33.065, while topping the time sheet were the two Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton, (1.31.754) and Nico Rosberg (1.31.973) ahead of the Red Bull of Mark Webber (1.32.789.) In the other F138, Fernando Alonso did not set a time, as he was hit with electrical problems currently being investigated by the engineers. Both Ferrari men ran the Prime Medium tyre as Felipe evaluated various aero configurations, on a programme that naturally had to be changed while Fernando’s car was out of action.