Ferrari’s weekend got off to a troubled start as they were forbidden from using the new rear wing which they ran for the first time in Friday practice.
|Fernando Alonso||Felipe Massa|
|Qualifying time comparison (Q3)||1’21.964 (-0.924)||1’22.888|
Ferrari drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):
With a new Ferrari contract in his pocket Fernando Alonso was in exceptional form on home ground.
His start with both technically brilliant and gutsy. Alonso admitted, “we have worked so much on this area and you could see the outcome”.
The onboard replay showed he kept his finger on the KERS button even as Sebastian Vettel darted left and right in front of him. Alonso dived down the inside of Mark Webber to take a shock lead.
But the 150?é?? Italia wasn’t quick enough for him to pull away. By lap 17 he had both Red Bulls and Lewis Hamilton queued up within 2.4 seconds of him.
Having failed to save any soft tyres during qualifying – Ferrari send him out on softs in Q1 – he quickly burned through the faster tyres and was on hards before lap 30.
The car’s pace was even worse on these tyres, yet he managed to keep Webber at pay. The Red Bull got by at turn ten on lap 35 but Alonso neatly reversed the pass on the way out.
Four laps later he was in for another set of tyres and Webber jumped ahead of him by delaying his stop for another eight laps.
But with the two Mercedes holding each other up Alonso’s fifth place was safe.
Alonso said: “I tried to do the maximum, keeping the quickest ones behind me for around twenty laps, but after that, there was nothing I could do.
“It was very stressful having them filling my mirrors all the time and we tried as much as possible to copy or anticipate their moves. That meant doing over the half the race on the hards, which penalised us heavily and made the gap bigger than it is in reality.”
There was not much in the Spanish Grand Prix weekend that Massa will look back on with any fondness. He found his way into a gravel trap during practice and qualified the best part of a second off his flying team mate’s pace.
Massa looked particularly unhappy on the new hard tyres – bringing back memories of last year – and spun on the lap after he put them on during the race.
He had fallen to tenth, 46 second behind Alonso, when he parked up with a gearbox failure eight laps from home. He described it as “a fitting end to a terrible weekend”.
2011 Spanish Grand Prix
- 2011 Spanish Grand Prix: complete race weekend review
- Vote for the best driver of the Spanish Grand Prix weekend
- Red Bull: Vettel soaks up pressure for fourth win
- McLaren: Hamilton strong on “disastrous” Pirellis
- Ferrari: Alonso stars, Massa struggles
- Mercedes: Rosberg wanted Schumacher to let him pass
- Renault: Heidfeld eighth after “worst fire of my career”
- Williams: Maldonado reaches Q3 but still no points
- Sauber: Kobayashi gets point after puncture
- Force India hold back on aerodynamic upgrade
Image ?é?® Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo