Ferrari have become the first team to launch their 2011 Formula One car – named the F150.
Thw F150 name comes from the fact it is 150 years since Italian unification, the flag bearer for the nation decided it was important to increase exposure of the major event in the country’s long history. The cars rear wing features an Italian tricolore flag too to increase the patriotism of the famous team.
The car itself is not abnormal in colouring to previous Ferrari’s, the beautiful scarlet paintwork is retained. Sponsors look thin on the ground, but they are bigt and important. Bank Santander have increased their sponsorship of the team, as they begin to move away from former team McLaren. Philip Morris brand Marlboro are still a sponsor, but have no presence on the car any more following the banning on the bar code blank out design. A new Scuderia Ferrari logo instead dominates the engine box.
The car looks very similar to the 2010 beast that nearly won the world title. It does not have a shark fin rear wing, as the f-duct system is now banned. Aldo Costa the chief designer at the team said the car looks similar but underneath is a whole new package.
“The major aspects with the most impact on the project were connected to the aerodynamic development. The car will change a lot. The double diffuser, the F-duct, is gone.” Costa told Ferrari.com
“The rear wing will be movable, so that the driver can overtake the car in front of him and use it in the qualifying according to his needs. The KERS is back. Although we’ve improved its size, it’s still quite big.
“As far as the looks are concerned the rules keep them [the cars] quite unaltered. The cars look like the ones from last year, but from a technical point of view they will be really different.”
The boss of Ferrari, Luca di Montezemolo has stated a clear intention that this car has been built to win the world championship.
“This year we have to win and we will do our best to win,” di Montezemolo declared at the team’s Maranello headquarters.
“We have updated the team, we have made some improvements and we are awaiting the challenges against our first opponents.”
Meanwhile star driver Fernando Alonso – who shook the car down a few days ago – was buoyant and said this vehicle was much better than last seasons.
“There are no doubts that when I arrived in January 2010, I drove a car that had different characteristics to what I drove in previous years,” said Alonso at Ferrari’s launch in Maranello today.
“Now I will drive a car that is a continuity of what I drove in 2010. I think all the developments and the direction that you go with improvements in the car over one year has some kind of definition of your driving style.
“I think that helps the designer of the car and the technical people with next year’s car, so I think in 2011 there will be some kind of direction that we took in 2010 regarding my driving style.
“So I think I will feel more confident with this year’s car. I will feel more comfortable driving the car, it will be more predictable to me. And I know the team now – I know the people, I know the guys, I know the names of all my mechanics, something that was not the case in Bahrain last year. So that will also help.”
Various drivers had the opportunity to test the new Pirelli tyres today in the first test at Abu Dhabi. While only driving their 2010 machines, it will give them the chance to evaluate the new rubber from the Italian manufacturer.
Here’s what a variety of the drivers thought about the tyres following the test.
Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing):
“Given the short amount of time Pirelli had, I think they did a good job,” said world champion Sebastian Vettel, who set the second-fastest time of the day. “It’s a good start and it was good to be back in the car.
“You need to give the car a bit of time to adapt to the tyres. We need to work on the set-up, but I think it’s a common view that the tyres have behaved pretty well and probably better than a lot of people expected.”
Rubens Barrichello (Williams):
“I’ve been positively impressed,” said Barrichello. “The track is a little bit different because I think they polished the asphalt because of the Bridgestone rubber.
“I don’t think it’s time to make comparisons, but I thought it was positive. I did 42 laps in the morning and it was okay. They are different to Bridgestones and we need to keep learning. We could not expect a completely different tyre to work the same way. I quite like the challenge.”
Felipe Massa (Ferrari):
“The harder compound has a lot of degradation and it’s not as quick as I expected,” Massa said.
“As for the softer tyre, I was very happy with it. It’s quick, degradation is very good. I did long runs with both and the one I did with the softer tyre was very good, possibly better than what I had last Sunday in the race.
“Of course, again, they’ll have to work to improve the harder compound they brought here, but that’s what this test was all about. Pirelli saw what happened, listened to our suggestions and understood the situation.”
Robert Kubica (Renault):
“It’s difficult to compare because we had a race five days ago and the track has changed quite a lot due to the testing and the rubber that was laid down,” said Kubica. “I’m sure that the track grip is much better than it was in the race.
“This makes it difficult to compare them – there’s no point really in comparing them. There’s quite a big difference. It is always pretty interesting when you change tyres to feel the difference and make some set-up changes and stuff like this.
“It’s just to get an idea for next year’s car which characteristics will work best. We will never get track conditions with so much rubber on the race weekends, so actually I don’t think it’s so significant, this test. A lot of the young drivers had many sets of new tyres! Although the track was washed yesterday, I didn’t recognise it. It was like a different track.”
Nico Rosberg (Mercedes Benz):
“They’re at least similar [to Bridgestone's] or perhaps for worse for us at the moment”
“…In the big picture, they are pretty similar in the end to the Bridgestones, but if you are then looking for the fine tuning to extract the performance there is some way to go on adapting the set-up.
“At the moment, we have done the small things that you can do at the track but there are the bigger things that you need to take care of with the car development. That’s going to be one of the areas that are very important for success for next year.”
Felipe Massa was the fastest man on the first day of testing for the new Pirelli tyres.
The Brazilian driver was narrowly quicker than World Champion Sebastian Vettel.
Today wasn’t really about the times, it was about seeing how the new tyres coped on the cars, and seemingly they have worked rather well. No major problems for any driver, only a small puncture for Vettel at the end of the session which was due to track debris puncturing the tyre rather than a failure of the wheel itself.
Felipe Massa declared himself very happy following the test.
“It was a positive day to understand the way to go next year with a tyre that is quite different to the one we had in 2010,” said Massa. “We were able to see that direction quite quickly and we understood quite easily what the tyre required from the car and driver.
“But it’s also clear there are quite a lot of things to change for next year. Next year’s car will be quite different, of course, but today was positive and I’m pleased after working with Pirelli for the first time.”
Pos Driver Car Time Laps 1. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m40.170s 94 2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1m40.500s 77 3. Gary Paffett McLaren 1m40.874s 94 4. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1m40.950s 83 5. Robert Kubica Renault 1m41.032s 39 6. Rubens Barrichello Williams 1m41.425s 91 7. Paul di Resta Force India 1m41.615s 20 8. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m41.778s 81 9. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso 1m42.019s 71 10. Adrian Sutil Force India 1m42.859s 20 11. Timo Glock Virgin 1m44.124s 78 12. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus 1m44.686s 88 13. Pastor Maldonado Hispania 1m45.728s 83
As the Formula One “silly” season comes around again, and drivers are beginning to sign on the dotted line to new contracts one of the more overlooked rumours this weekend in Japan has been the possibility that Felipe Massa could be ready to leave Ferrari in search of being an out and out first driver.
The Brazilian was drafted into Ferrari and raced as Michael Schumacher’s understudy in 2006. In 2007, he was overshadowed by Kimi Raikkonen who went on to win the title. In 2008, he missed out on the championship by just a single point and 2009 was the infamous year where he was nearly killed. 2010 has been a difficult year for Massa. he had to move aside in Germany, so that Fernando Alonso could win the race in order to help his world championship challenge. It smelt like Schumacher/Barrichello from years before.
At the time Massa accepted the decision, but has become increasingly unhappy both on and off the track. His performances have slid, and he doesn’t look happy in the garage. On Thursday ahead of the Grand Prix, Massa told reporters that he “Didn’t want to be a 2nd driver, only the first driver. I don’t want to be another Rubens Barrichello”. Hastily, the boss of Ferrari Luca di Montezemolo said that he was still a number 1. But how can a team have two number ones? Especially when the other driver is Fernando Alonso. Lets not forget 2007, when Alonso was challenged at McLaren and he didn’t accept it.
Italian Press and the Suzuka paddock have been awash with rumour that he was ready to leave the team. The main teams he is being linked with are Renault, and believe it or not – Force India. The latter statement shows just how far the little team based in Silverstone has come, to attract a driver like Felipe. Word in the paddock is that now Raikkonen has declined Renault, Adrian Sutil will leave Force India and head across to Enstone to partner Robert Kubica. This leaves the Force India door wide open for Scotsman Paul di Resta to take over from Tonio Liuzzi, and Felipe Massa could slot in as the number 1 driver within the team.
So it looks like Felipe may hold the key to the driver market this season. If he leaves, it leaves a completely empty race seat with Ferrari – who could potentially be the drivers championship winning team. Both drivers at Red Bull and McLaren are secure for 2011, so it would be likely to be an outsider driver coming in to the team. They have a range of options. They could select a youngster, one of their young driver programme drivers, but this is highly risky for the team and they would have to be confident that the driver could perform at the highest level straight from the off.
Their other option is to bring in someone experienced. Kimi Raikkonen rejected Renault for the team, as opposed to rejecting the prospect of Formula One. Could he make a sensational come back to F1 with Ferrari? Another possibility could be Michael Schumacher, the tainted son of the Italian team, has allegedly been offered an ultimatum by his Mercedes Benz bosses – perform or face the sack. Returning to Ferrari would guarantee him continued legend status, and almost certainly a competitive car. If Schumacher did leave Mercedes, then Nico Hulkenberg could go across to the all German team – his race seat at Williams is rumoured to be being offered to Pastor Maldonado, the GP2 World Champion.
It could make for an exciting winter season after all!
The FIA have announced that Ferrari will come before the World Motorsport Council hearing on September 8th.
Ferrari are being called before Formula One’s highest court for allegedly breaking rule 39.1, which states that team orders are not allowed in any form within the sport. The incident in question occured at the German Grand Prix two weeks ago, when Felipe Massa was allegedly asked to move aside so that Fernando Alonso could win the race.
Ferrari were immediately fined $100,000 and could face further penalties.
There was significant furor at the time of the incident, but it is now being called into question over whether they actually did break the rule or not. They did make one car move aside for the other, but the indication from Bernie Ecclestone (who sits on the judging panel) was that the rule is in place not to stop a team deciding which order their cars finish but moreover to stop two teams working together to fix the result of a race.
With the hearing only a matter of days before the Italian Grand Prix, it is likely any penalty will be met with distaste from the Italian Tifosi fans.
Felipe Massa has extended his Ferrari contract for two more seasons, according to an official announcement made this morning.
The Brazilian driver, who narrowly missed out on winning the 2008 F1 World Championship, was set to be out of the deal at the end of this season. Many expected Massa to leave the team, as Robert Kubica was touted as a replacement but now he will be staying for the foreseeable future.
Massa has been working with Ferrari since 2001 in test roles and race roles with the former Sauber team whom Ferrari supplied engines too. He became a fully official Ferrari driver in 2006, partnering Michael Schumacher and then in 2007 until 2009 he partnered Kimi Raikkonen who won the 2007 Championship.
“I am happy to be given the opportunity to drive for Ferrari for a further two seasons,” said Massa.
“Throughout my entire Formula 1 career, I have always raced with an engine made in Maranello and it is a matter of pride for me to be able to continue working with a team that I regard as a second family.”
Meanwhile the team also announced a signing to their young driver programme. 11 year old Canadian Lance Stroll with join the programme having been successful in various kart championships around the world. Ferrari will now guide him through the lower formulas as they prepare him as a future F1 driver.
“We are pleased to welcome Lance to our group,” said Luca Baldisserri, who runs the Ferrari Driving Academy. “He is very young, but he has already shown in karting that he is exceptionally talented.
“We will follow him step by step in his forthcoming events in North America and he will soon also take part in our courses at Maranello.”
Luca di Montezemolo the head of Ferrari has declared himself very happy with new driver Fernando Alonso.
Montezemolo stated his happiness with the two time world champions driving following some criticsms following a jump start and the bad accident he had in Monaco. Some Itlaian media had suggested Luca was unhappy with Fernando and wanted Michael Schumacher back.
Montezemolo dismissed these claims however.
“Not one bit,” di Montezemolo said when asked by Gazzetta dello Sport if there were regrets. “It was good with Michael but it’s over. No regrets. Today I’m very happy with Alonso, both on and off the track.
“Alonso has team spirit, conscientiousness, attachment to the team. And when he races he’s a fantastic fighter.”
“I consider a mistake only what happened at Monte Carlo, due to excessive confidence,” he said. “He wanted to test the limit while thinking of pole, and he crashed. The jump start in China was down to the tension. But we are in a great position for the championship – the game is on.”
Montezemolo also hinted to La Gazetta Dello Sport that Felipe Massa could keep his seat with the Scuderia.
“[He needs to]Carry on working with the same spirit while taking care of himself and the team.”
Some rumours in the German and Italian media have been suggesting Ross Brawn and Michael Schumacher could make a sensational return to Ferrari.
Mark Webber’s victory in the Monaco Grand Prix yesterday looks set to deliver him more than just a helping of pride and a hangover, following an interview released with his boss Christian Horner.
Horner, who in team principal for Red Bull Racing Webber’s employer, says that he wants to offer the Australian another contract to stay on with the team and partner popular German Sebastian Vettel.
Webber’s future with the Austrian energy drink backed team had been in doubt with Ferrari’s Felipe Massa, and former World Champion turned rally driver Kimi Raikkonen both being linked with poaching the seat with the current constructors championship leaders.
However despite this, the team say they want continuity as they focus on winning both the drivers and constructors titles and pushing their team to the front of the grid.
“We are very happy with the way that Mark is performing,” Horner told ESPN last night.
“He’s an important member of our team and he has got to a stage where, at 33, we said let’s take one year at a time rather than signing some long-winded agreement. I am very happy with the balance and dynamics in team, and there is nothing that we would change for.
“It’s all down to relationships and how he feels at the end of the day. He is driving fantastically well, he is a very valued member of the team, so when the time comes to sit down and talk about contracts I am sure it will be a very short conversation.”
Ferrari have confirmed that they will be working on new aerodynamic structures and cooling vents on their F10 car to combat some of the cooling issues it suffered in the first race of the season in Bahrain.
In the extreme temperatures both Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso were told over the pit to car radios that their engines were running at dangerously high temperatures. Ferrari say they need to combat this now, despite finishing 1st and 2nd in the Grand Prix giving them the maximum available constructors points.
“The temperature of the engine is the result of the aerodynamics of the car, so we have to work on that in order to make sure we don’t have any more of these kinds of issues for the next hot races,” Stefano Domenicali told ESPN.
Meanwhile rumours of a B-Spec Ferrari F10 continue to circulate. Giuseppe Azzollini has been drafted in to Maranello, a former CFD expert for the now defunct Toyota F1 team and he is working on producing a new intricate diffuser that was supposed to be fitted to the Toyota TF110. Ferrari are hoping this new take on the design will blow the competition away.
For the first time since 1993 refuelling has been banned in Formula One. Gone are the days of pitstops lasting 10 seconds or more, the chance of fires and the intricacies of fuel stop strategies and in their place have come 3 second pit stops as the tyre men throw on slick tyres at a lightening rate.
While those tyre men have had to work harder and train ever more with the tyres, what about the companies behind the fuel rigs? They have had to work even harder to ensure their fuel optimises everything from power, efficiency and weight.
Thanks to Shell, The F1Fanatics Blog can bring you an exclusive look at some of the challenges surrounding the fuel company who provide their V-Power mixture to the Ferrari F1 Team.
Lisa Lilley, who is the top manager for Shell’s racing fuels department and works directly with the Ferrari F1 Team told us “The 2010 refuelling ban is by far the biggest challenge we have seen in fuel development in 15 years, but it is also a really positive one for Shell. Over the last year we have put a lot of work into the formulation of the Shell V-Power race fuel for the new season, and our main objective has been to optimise the power and performance benefit of the Shell V-Power race fuel for Ferrari.”
On top of just creating that faster fuel, efficiency is necessary so that the cars can complete the race as quickly as possible, yet the fuel needs to last them. While Bahrain’s Grand Prix yesterday was only 49 laps, the Monaco Grand Prix is 78. The fuel needs to work across the range of circuits to its top performance, and Shell have focussed on efficiency. Mike Evans, Shell Formula One Fuels Development Project Leader explains, “Engines, performance-wise, are tuned to run a rich, heavy type of fuel but you can then run them on a slightly leaner formulation, which will give you a small drop in performance but it will also give you better fuel efficiency. It’s getting that balance right.”
The more efficient the fuel can be, means that the fuel tanks can be smaller and can lead to the car being lighter and thus faster in race trim. Ferrari are well known for having one of the fastest engines in the pit lane, and when compared to the Renault equivalent in their rivals Red Bull Racing car the Ferrari engine guzzles its fuel much faster so this has been an added challenge for the fuel scientists. Mike Evans continues “[We have been] working hard for the last nine months leading up to the 2010 season, given the latest FIA rule changes.”
The heat of the engine on the fuel has been another concern for the manufacturers, with the engines and fuel tanks in a much more compact structure than they were back in the early 1990’s, there is a good chance of the engine heat affecting the fuel. This could occur even more frequently at races in locations such as Bahrain where the air temperature is usually around 36oC. ,Lisa Lilley continued her explanation “Without this cooling effect, and in addition to having the larger fuel tank sitting next to very hot engines, the fuel itself will be getting hotter while it is in the car this year.”
Lilley continued, “At Shell, our fuel experts have been working since last year to meet these challenges, and provide Ferrari’s Formula One team with a custom-made Shell V-Power race fuel that can provide optimum performance even at high temperatures.”
So it is very evident that Shell, like other fuel manufacturers have been working very hard. But what is the relationship between Ferrari, the most successful F1 team of all time and the Dutch fuel manufacturer? Stefano Domenicali was very happy with the links between the two companies “The technical partnership we share with Shell is key to our understanding of fuel development. Shell has unrivalled expertise and knowledge in fuel technology, and our close-working relationship means we can constantly push the fuel to its boundaries to achieve both power and performance.
Domenicali continued “The fuel is a crucial element that has always been very important to Ferrari and the refuelling ban in 2010 means the partnership will be absolutely fundamental this season.”
The drivers too seem very happy with the work Shell have done, newcomer Fernando Alonso told us “I think we are ready. We have some innovative new products from Shell, that we have spent a lot of the winter testing and I think we have found the right compromise. We have to be very optimistic for the season ahead”
Team mate Felipe Massa, who has been with Ferrari for many seasons alongside both Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen added “We are using V-Power from Shell, which is a great fuel anyway and we’re trying to make it even faster and even more reliable, because reliability is really really important now.”
So, after 10 constructors championships and 12 drivers titles with the Italian giants, we would be fairly confident that Shell know what they are doing with the fuel this season, and their expertise tied in with one of the best teams, Ferrari, and two of the best drivers, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa could provide and unstoppable force in F1.
Stefano Domenicali has said he is very happy with the early victory Ferrari have got in 2010, after dominating the Bahrain Grand Prix with a 1-2 finish.
The team principal of Ferrari Domenicali, said that after all the hard work the team had put in to get the F10 car working well, and following a difficult 2009 season it was a great remedy to any underlying doubts fans may have about the car.
“Well, for sure this race is very important for the team,” said Domenicali. “After a difficult season like last year, and after a very difficult decision that we had to take last year, everyone was ready with the gun to fire. But that is part of the game.
“This is the reason why I have to take certain responsibility. It is good because it shows that the decision was right. I have to thank all the people at home who worked very hard, they were staying together, because it is easy when you have a very bad season – everyone says you have bad people and it was better in a different period. But that is life. We know that. So the only way to react is to come back with results.”
Red Bull Racing looked very good in this race, with Sebastian Vettel leading the field until reliability problems with the Red Bull lowered him to 4th place late on. However Domenicali is just happy the car looks competitive.
“What is important to see is that the car we have seen this weekend is a good base to look ahead for the future,” he said. “The season is very, very long and we have to stay with our feet on the ground because I am expecting all the others to be very aggressive and very competitive.
“But we have seen a good car in both qualifying and racing conditions, and it proves that the work that has to be done is a lot still. But we are starting from a good pace.”
Fernando Alonso got his Ferrari career off to the perfect start with victory in the first round of the 2010 season in Bahrain.
The Spanish driver was followed across the line by team mate Felipe Massa, making it Ferrari’s first 1-2 finish in some time. The joy was evident on the faces of the mechanics post-race.
Lewis Hamilton, the 2008 world champion was 3rd.
The anticipation pre-race was unbearable, following the drivers parade we discovered Ferrari replaced both engines and that the Hispania drivers would start in the pits.
The start of the race was fast and furious as expected, with Fernando Alonso managing to squeeze past Felipe Massa as the Ferrari boys snaked through the first few corners behind Sebastian Vettel – who would go on to pull away into a phenomenal lead.
Further back, Mark Webber’s car blew out lots of smoke with excess oil burn off, blinding Robert Kubica’s path and forcing him and Adrian Sutil to spin off. In the carnage, Michael Schumacher made the most of it and worked up into 6th, also making a good effort was Vitaly Petrov who ended up on the cusp of the top 10.
On the second lap, Hispania’s Karun Chandhok bowed out of his debut after crashing. Not the start he hoped for. A matter of laps later, Nico Hulkenberg another rookie spun off, just managing to save his Williams from the gravel trap. During this action, Lucas di Grassi pulled off and retired with hydraulic failure – something that would stop a lot of cars today.
The laps counted down, without much action until Robert Kubica pitted for harder compound tyres and lit up the track. The leaders soon pitted as Kubica’s times tumbled, this first and only pitstop for the majority of the field. The stop allowed Jenson Button, the current World Champion to get past Australian Mark Webber who had been struggling to keep a good pace following that oil blow off on the first corner of the race.
Kamui Kobayashi retired around this time with a hydraulic issue, the same issue would stop his team mate Pedro de La Rosa on lap 30 – the pair hadn’t had a brilliant weekend although De la Rosa had hooked up good pace in race trim. On lap 14, Vitaly Petrov retired in his pitbox with front wishbone failure – how it got broken is still a mystery.
The pit stops were quick, with the top 3 all being under 4.5 seconds.
From there on in it was relatively trouble free with only two more retirements, of Bruno Senna whose Cosworth engine sounded rather worse for wear, and just before Timo Glock who retired we believe due to a hydraulic failure.
All was going well for Vettel, despite Fernando Alonso attempting to gain on him after the Ferrari drivers were told to slow down as their engines were overheating in the dirty air. However, Vettel’s exhaust cracked and the Red Bull driver lost all power, Alonso caught him like his car was on fire and powered on passed – the clean air aiding the Ferrari’s cause.
This clean air allowed Alonso to put in a series of amazing hot laps, he is definitely the one to watch for these first few fly-away races.
Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton managed to get passed the ailing Vettel but he did hold off the Mercedes’ of Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher who were making large gains on his Red Bull towards the end.
Button and Webber followed Schumacher over the line, and it was Tonio Liuzzi in 9th who had a quiet but consistent race. Rubens Barrichello held on to 10th to take advantage of the final new point scoring position.
Kubica and Sutil recovered to 11th and 12th respectively following their earlier spins, ahead of Alguersuari and Hulkenberg.
Heikki Kovalainen had a good consistent race for Lotus, overtaking and without technical problems. He finished ahead of Buemi who retired on the final lap, and Jarno Trulli who struggled to the line with a mechnical issue and also seemingly a seat fitting issue – the Italian was holding his back in pain after getting out of the car on the final lap.
While Alonso will take the glory, and will become the Ferrari fans new hero it is worth mentioning Felipe Massa’s performance finishing 2nd in his first race back following that terrible accident in Hungary last season.
Roll on Australia!
|4||S. Vettel||Red Bull Racing||+38.713|
|8||M. Webber||Red Bull Racing||+46.308|
|9||V. Liuzzi||Force India||+53.089|
|12||A. Sutil||Force India||+1.22.958|
|13||J. Alguersuari||Toro Rosso||+1.32.656|
|14||N. Hulkenberg||Williams||+ 1 lap|
|15||H. Kovalainen||Lotus||+ 1 lap|
|16||S. Buemi||Toro Rosso||+ 3 laps|
|17||J. Trulli||Lotus||+ 3 laps|
|P. De la Rosa||Sauber||30||Hydraulic|
|L. di Grassi||Virgin||3||Hydraulic|
Fastest Lap: F. Alonso 1.58.287
Post Race Interviews
F. Alonso – Ferrari (1st): “A very special day for me. Coming back the top of the podium is always special but even more special with Ferrari. We have history behind the team and all the expectations a driver has when he drives for Ferrari. There is no better way to start the relationship. This is the best team in the world, we worked hard all winter, the guys did a very good job in winter testing. We have done nothing so far – we only won the first race but to be first and second is the result that the guys in Maranello deserve because they have been working day and night to give us this fantastic car. This first victory is dedicated to all the people in Italy, the mechanics here and president di Montezemolo. This result is very, very positive.”
F. Massa – Ferrari (2nd): ”First of all I think it is fantastic to be here, so thanks a lot that everything is great. Being here with a competitive car and going through the whole race with good pace, so thanks to God I am fine and thanks to everybody who was supporting me in a difficult time. The race was really good and fantastic for us. For sure I didn’t have a good start, I lost an important position to Fernando at the first corner. After that the race was perfect for me on the soft and with the hard.”
L. Hamilton – McLaren (3rd): “I had quite a good race, unfortunately I lost a bit of ground, locked up into Turn 4 and went wide, got in a bad position and Rosberg got past me. I was then much faster but it’s difficult to follow here and look after the tyres. If I was ahead of him maybe I would have been able to follow the train these guys [the Ferraris] were creating. It is a strong result for me and the team,” he said. “It was more than we expected. We need to continue to push to keep up with these guys.”
S. Vettel – Red Bull Racing (4th): “All in all it was a positive except the failure this weekend. Under any conditions from Saturday morning onwards we were the quickest. I think we had very good control of the race, we had a very good strategy, I knew how my tyres were. We had quite good control of the tyres and the brakes, everything running smoothly. I think it was 15-20 laps to the end I just lost power. I don’t know what it was but I think something mechanical broke. Luckily we could continue but we should have won really.”
M. Schumacher – Mercedes Benz (6th): “It’s the start and then after it is just sort of go your pace and not do mistakes. Overtaking is basically impossible, other than if somebody makes a mistake – Lewis had a little one so Nico was able to pass him, but got back past at the pitstop. That’s about it. That’s the action we are going to have with unfortunately this kind of environment of race strategy. But, anyway, it was good fun. Especially the beginning and now we are going to work forward in order to catch up what is in front of us.”
Robert Kubica – Renault (11th): “All our hard work this weekend was undone by the incident on the first lap. I think Sutil just didn’t lift off because he couldn’t see anything and he hit me. I spun during the incident and that cooked the rear tyres: they were overheating from that point onwards and I eventually stopped very early on lap 12. I completed the rest of the race on hard tyres, and that was a big challenge: I just set myself the goal of finishing in the points, but we didn’t quite make it. Without the incident on lap one, I think we would have had a very strong points finish because we showed the pace to fight well. Overall, it was a positive weekend for us”
Heikki Kovalainen – Lotus (15th): “It was a good race for our team. To get both cars to the finish is a great achievement. My car didn’t have a single problem, I know Jarno did and managed to nurse his car to the end, but the primary goal was to get both cars to the end and we achieved that. So far the team has reached every goal we set ourselves, so that is fantastic.”
P. De la Rosa – Sauber (Ret): “I actually had a good start, but then lost positions when I had to go off the track to avoid colliding with other cars. On the grass I lost acceleration and some cars were able to pass, so when I arrived at turn four I had lost several positions. Then I felt we had a car that was good enough to fight for points, and there still was a chance to achieve this when I was called into the pits on lap 29 because of an hydraulic problem.”
Bruno Senna – Hispania HRT (Ret): “It was certainly a relief to have been in the race for so many laps. Everything was going well. I felt I had a little too much understeer. I had a good base set-up now after these laps and my engineers will have a better starting point to work from for next race. There was a vibration from the back of the car a lap earlier and then the car suddenly stopped. We’ll have to investigate what happened. But I am very happy for the whole team for their incredible hard work to ensure we are in a position to be racing again in Melbourne.”
Lucas di Grassi – Virgin Racing (Ret): “I got a great start and the car was feeling pretty good. I think we could have had a good race with the car that we had but then just a few laps into the race I had to pull over in turn 9 and my race was over before it had really begun. There’s no point being downhearted. We’ll be back in Melbourne with some new developments and a fix for the problems we experienced here. It’s race one of 19 and there’s a long way to go yet. I would like to thank the team for an incredible job here and over the past few months. It’s been a huge effort and I hope for a better result for the whole team in Australia in two weeks’ time.”
The first blows of the 2010 season went to Adrian Sutil who slotted his Force India onto the top of the timesheets following a fast and furious start to the new season.
The German driver was narrowly ahead of Fernando Alonso who put in an excellent morning test with the Ferrari. His team mate was 4th, with Robert Kubica splitting the Ferrari duo.
Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton engaged the first round of the Battle of Britain and finished 5th and 6th, with hundredths of a second to compare between them.
Tonio Liuzzi put in a good performance, and was faster than racing returnee Michael Schumacher who found himself down in 10th place.
The new teams got some running, with Lotus’ Jarno Trulli kicking off the test session and HRT’s Bruno Senna getting out for some shakedown laps 70 minutes in. The new teams filled the bottom 6 places in the timesheets.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:56.583 18 2. Alonso Ferrari 1:56.766 + 0.183 18 3. Kubica Renault 1:57.041 + 0.458 19 4. Massa Ferrari 1:57.055 + 0.472 19 5. Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:57.068 + 0.485 19 6. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:57.163 + 0.580 19 7. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:57.194 + 0.611 19 8. Rosberg Mercedes 1:57.199 + 0.616 15 9. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:57.255 + 0.672 17 10. Schumacher Mercedes 1:57.662 + 1.079 16 11. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:57.722 + 1.139 18 12. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:57.894 + 1.311 20 13. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:57.943 + 1.360 17 14. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:58.399 + 1.816 13 15. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:58.782 + 2.199 11 16. Petrov Renault 1:58.880 + 2.297 13 17. de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 2:00.250 + 3.667 18 18. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 2:01.388 + 4.805 11 19. Glock Virgin-Cosworth 2:03.680 + 7.097 8 20. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 2:03.848 + 7.265 21 21. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 2:03.970 + 7.387 15 22. di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 2 23. Senna HRT-Cosworth 3 24. Chandhok HRT-Cosworth