Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Brazil GP : Alonso & Massa Sunday results

Fernando Alonso: "get on the podium is the best way to finish this long season, finishing behind Red Bull, which is almost like a victory, more it was the best result that we could have hoped today. It's a shame that the long-awaited rain has not fallen because on wet track we would have been certainly more competitive.I made a good start but I found myself outside and then inside, however after passing Hamilton and Rosberg I started to attack and my race was from beginning to end the attack even if we cannot be fully satisfied with this result because our goal is to win, I'd rather see the balance of the season in a positive way. We won two races and signed podiums, I am runner up of the championship and these are figures which we can be proud of, me as Massa. Felipe (Massa) was a fantastic teammate and even though we will continue to see us in the paddock, my relationship with him will miss and I wish him all the best for the future."

Felipe Massa : "My race started perfectly, with a very good start, then a sustained rhythm which allowed me to immediately make a few beautiful overtakings and I did a great race until the moment where I was given a penalty for crossing the white line. I do not think that I deserved a drive-through and I think that's very unfair. I am very disappointed because today I could have finished fourth or third. I'm sure that if I was found behind Fernando, he would let me overtake him . However, I do not want this incident ruin such a special weekend for me and my team. In their eyes, I'm a world champion and I will never forget them nor anything about Ferrari. I would like to thank all those who have given me this opportunity and maximum support all the time, including president Montezemolo, Stefano Domenicali and all mechanics and engineers who work on the track and at home, as well as all the Ferrari fans who, over the years, have rejoiced with me and also suffered with me during the most difficult moments. Thank you ."

Brazil GP : the race results

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Brazil GP : Alonso & Massa Saturday results

Fernando Alonso: "after the results of the latest races I have to say that I'm really happy to be back in the top 3 on the grid even if I failed to realize the perfect lap because I came out of the track in turn 4 losing seven or eight tenths and so I think it would have been possible to finish second on the timesheet which I believe was within our reach. We know that our car is more competitive on wet track and it's a shame that this happens only now this season, even if now we must look to the future and think about the podium as if we were fighting for the Championship because it would be the best way to finish the season. Here at Interlagos it's difficult to obtain stable conditions, today we had a very wet track which became almost dry in ten minutes, that's why I expect a race with conditions which will vary, we will have to pay maximum attention to not make too many mistakes, it will be necessary to have a good strategy and to respond quickly to all situations."

Felipe Massa: "this qualifying session was difficult because of the weather and also because in the space of a few moments we've gone from heavy rain to a track that had begun to dry by location. I'm not happy with my lap because believe me I was expecting to do something better, but I lost time in the second and third sectors and on parts of the track I had aquaplaning and therefore a loss of adhesion. I am disappointed to have lost positions because of this because I was aiming for a better position but now we must do everything to have a good race knowing that tomorrow they predict rain but we must be prepared for all conditions because here it's never what can happen, one turn to another maybe dry track and then totally soaked. No doubt this will be a very exciting race for drivers and for fans with all the energy they give off this will be a source of motivation for me to have a good race ."

Brazil GP : the grid

To note : Sergio Pérez has a 5 grid penalty for a gearbox change

Brazil GP : Alonso & Massa Friday results

Fernando Alonso: "It's always difficult to drive when it's raining here, because the level of water on the track is never constant and this may affect the lap time of about two to three seconds between each lap and when you drive , you try to understand precisely what will be the level of grip because there is no absolute values. But given that as the forecast for the rest of the weekend will be equivalent to what we had today, we can say that even though we have little rode both sessions were good tests. Qualifications and the race will be very complicated from a strategic point of view. This evening we will have to find a good plan to make a good weekend knowing that it will take a bit of luck because in these conditions you must be in the right place at the right time."

Felipe Massa: "it was a difficult and complicated day with rain throughout the tests with a very wet track and so we have chosen to not much ride to save the tires. We drove with intermediate tyres during free practice 2 which allowed us to keep a set of rain tyres. In the context of very variable weather forecasts for the rest of the weekend, I can say that it is difficult to say how it will unfold, because even if we were not really fast today in the rain, it's too early to say what conditions go best with our car. It's obvious that it will be important to use the right tires at the right time. It's for me a very special weekend with my last race as a Ferrari driver, I drive here with an all red helmet and a fantastic combination as a sign of affection to my team with whom I hope, we will have the best possible end season ."

Brazil GP : FP2 results

Brazil GP : FP1 results

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Austin GP : Alonso & Massa Sunday quotes

Fernando Alonso: "finish in the top five is a very positive result because it was really hard this weekend knowing that I had to start on the dirty side of the track.We knew it would be difficult to maintain our position and I lost one with Perez. In the first part of the race we were not quick enough and we decided to preserve the tires and then attack in the lap back to the pits. We were faster on the hard, we passed Perez later Hulkenberg and although our situation compared to the Mercedes has improved we were not able to beat them. I am proud of this second place in the drivers Championship, it's a small reward for me. My back is fine, I made a good warm-up before the race and this did not bother me, I feel more tired of this tension of the race, but now I have three days to rest and get to Brazil at 100%. We really have to improve because our goal is to finish second in the constructors championship."

Felipe Massa: "it was a really tough weekend and I struggled since Friday, we have not been able to get enough of temperature in the tires to a good pace.Initially, I do earn a place, and then I was stuck in traffic on a track where overtaking is not so easy. We knew that making a second stop was not the best choice but I was already in a difficult position and we decided to risk this strategy to return to medium tires.We could enjoy it if a safety car would come on the track but this was not the case, and the tires behaviour of cars that were in front of me was low, so I was behind them without being able to pass them. I finish in the same position than at the start , it is a shame because we could have done better. We must stay concentrated for this last race in Brazil, my last race with Ferrari at home .This will be a weekend full of emotion and because of this I hope to be more competitive, even though we know that our opponents will be very strong, we will do our best until the end."

Austin GP : the race results

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Austin GP : Alonso & Massa Saturday quotes

Fernando Alonso: "I am rather pleased with the result of these qualifications because after the problems we had almost throughout the weekend, including in Q1 we had little hope to go to Q3.This shows how things can change with the temperature of the track with a ten degrees more, we suffered a lot with tires with a low temperature especially in tests in the morning . If you look at the pace we had in the afternoon with the sun scheduled for tomorrow that should help us get a good race. It would be exciting to get on the podium but my main goal is to help the team to regain second place in the constructors championship.To achieve this, we must beat Mercedes and that from the start. This will condition the race we will have even if we know in advance that it will not be easy, especially from the dirty side of the track, here in Austin it's without doubt the most penalising of the year."

Felipe Massa: "it was a really difficult qualifying session and I must say, since yesterday afternoon I have not been able to drive the car properly because something does not work and we have not managed to understand what. I do not think that I have a specific problem, but there is a lack of grip on the front and the back of the car and I did not fast regardless of the type of tyres.This is very strange because Alonso was better able to adapt to the car, and I therefore do not understand why I can't do the same thing, as much as I love this track. I did not expect me to have much difficulties . We must find a solution for tomorrow because this will be a tough race, we must do our utmost to make progress in the hierarchy and score points which will be useful for the constructors classification ."

Austin GP : the grid

Penalties :

*Esteban Gutiérrez : 10 grid penalty to have blocked Pastor Maldonado + dangerous driving
*Max Chilton : drive through during the 5 first laps of the race to have blocked Maldonado during qualifications
*Jenson Button : 3 grid penalty for overtaking under red flag during FP1
*Charles Pic : 5 grid penalty for gearbox changing

Austin GP : Alonso & Massa Friday quotes

Fernando Alonso: "my back is fine and I have no problem to go on track, I was able to attack like always . compare to last year the track conditions seem better , the first edition of the Grand Prix was difficult because there was some oil on the track, but now there are many more grip. According to our expectations of the day, we have seen that there is little degradation on the tyres but it's a logical thing because of ultra conservative tyres choices here in Austin with medium and hard tyres .Overall there has not been big surprises and now we'll wait and see how it goes tomorrow and especially Sunday."

Felipe Massa: "today was a tough day because this morning we thought only after free practice 1 that the characteristics of the track suited our car but in the afternoon it was not the case, things have changed and we have not been able to make good time.The car has not changed since the last races and it's for this reason that we cannot expect different performances, but we understand why the car has so much changed between the two sessions. I do not think that it depends on the temperature rise, probably the wind which has not helped us, we have much work to improve in sight of the rest of the weekend. Compared with last year the grip is better, it's rather a good thing."

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Kimi Raikkonen stops his season for a back surgery !

Kimi Raikkonen will not go after his contract with Lotus. The Finn chose to be operated of his back next week, Thursday in Austria.

"Experts have recommended it to him and he will be operated next Thursday at Salzburg," confirms his manager Steve Robertson, in the Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat.

The surgery was necessary because since Abu Dhabi, he could not sleep without powerful painkillers.

Felipe Massa balance interview of his career at Ferrari

The event at Mugello will feature the last Ferrari to lots of crowd: how will you feel?

"With happiness in my heart, because it will be wonderful to greet the fans thanking them for all the years we spent together. They have always supported me, even in the most difficult moments."

Eight years as race driver: what is the secret to stay so long at Ferrari ?
"I always acted honestly and I gave my maximum in my work on the track, with the engineers and at the factory. I think that I have always acted in a very professional way."

You remember your first day?
"It was in early 2001 and I came after a season in F. Renault with Cram: I went to meet Jean Todt dressed of a jacket and a tie. Very tense and I was shaking."

The best moment of this long adventure in red?
"Certainly 2008, when I was so close to the world title, with many victories and podiums. But the day that will always remain in my mind was my first victory in Brazil (2006). For a Brazilian , to win at home, it's like winning the Championship. Remember Senna? When he won at Interlagos, he was happier than when he won the Championship! I learned the race at Interlagos, I grew up there: win in a Ferrari wearing a green and yellow suit (not usual red) was the best moment of my life. "

How do you explain to a young man who joined the Ferrari Driver Academy what it means to be a Ferrari driver precisely?
"Mm, well firstly it's difficult to enter! Because the choice of drivers is a difficult process and it's a privilege to be part of the reds. And then drive for this team, it's being always under the spotlight, you always grow up without worry about what people say about you. It's like being in a national football team, driving a Ferrari, it's like being in the Italian football team or play for the Seleção. You need to be prepared".

After having your accident  in 2009 , did you change your priorities in life?
"No absolutely not. Only now I appreciate life more. Because you always think that nothing can happen to you and then..." 

Stefano Domenicali said he always saw you as the 2008 world champion . Did you feel it ?

"100% Yes. I deserved the title, taking into account the season and everything that happened..."

Sebastian Vettel took his fourth title this year. Are they his securities or those of his team?
"100% to him and his car. Because it is true, he drove the car the fastest and most consistent way . But then, it was he who managed to extract its potential, taking the pole, which puts 6 tenths to everyone, including his teammate! This is a fantastic driver. "

Play to define men who were your boss , starting with Luca di Montezemolo.
"It is a person with a big heart and a great promoter. He knows describe and sell the idea of Ferrari. He is the right person for the post of president .

Rob Smedley 
"He played an important role in my career. When I ran for Ferrari my race engineer was Gabrielle Delli Colli, but things were not going as they should have and so I chose Rob who was there at the beginning and was with the test team. He knows me 100% "

You have had a lot of teammates, which one was the strongest?
"Fernando. Schumacher was also fast, but in terms of intelligence, Alonso is better because he was able to put everything together perfectly. "

Ferrari started very well 2013 and then stalled:
"at the beginning of the year, the car was competitive, but the mistake was that we did not develop as we should have done and like others have done so. The difference in performance in this final part of the Championship is due to a car that has not been developed in the right way "

You already know what you will do after F1?
"I love driving , it's part of my life and this is what makes me happy. Maybe after F1 I'll try my hand at another category".

Which one would you do ?
"DTM or Stock Cars in Brazil."

Fernando Alonso interview : 2013 balance and a look at 2014

Johnny Herbert: Fernando you have a lot of fans frustrated with how your season has gone, how do you summarise 2013?
Fernando Alonso: "Well it was a strange championship. At the beginning of the year we started with a good package that we were able to win two of the first five races with and we were looking competitive. Then after that obviously Red Bull dominated the rest of the season and they became champions again. So I understand the frustration from the fans and it is the same for us because we want to win, we are competitive people and this year we were not good enough."

JH: What is encouraging for you about 2014?
FA: "We are getting some new names into the technical staff with James Allision and some other staff that I think will strengthen the team and help with the performance. The wind tunnel in Maranello is opening again this month after being closed for a year, so things will be a little more comfortable for the team to deliver the package that we need."

JH: Do you think that will move you closer to Red Bull?
FA: "We hope so. With the changes we have made to the team, plus the facilities that are improving in Maranello, we are more optimistic than in previous years."

JH: Seeing the behaviour of Kimi Raikkonen against his team-mate last weekend, how did you see that and is it a concern for you?
FA: "No, no. I don't know exactly how it was, we only heard radio message that was a spectacular thing to show, but I don't know exactly how the situation was. We all have a lot of ups and downs and we all have a lot of adrenaline in those moments. There is always situations in the race, but there is absolutely no problem on the Monday after the race."

JH: Do you think you have underachieved at any point of your career in Formula 1?
FA: "Definitely. Always there are some downs in your career and there was the year at McLaren in which I was not good enough to compete for the championship at the end. In Ferrari I think there were a couple of races where I was not in good shape physically and mentally - in 2011 especially in the first part of the season I had big problems with one leg, I remember I was suffering a lot in the races. So there are always ups and downs for all of us, some are public, some are confidential inside the team, but you can always do better."

JH: After seeing Sebastian win his fourth World Championship, do you value your two World Championships you've won?
FA: "I am happy with the performance and the two championships I got and they will remain there all my life and I can tell my kids one day that I won two championships in F1 - hopefully more. I was very proud before, I am still proud now, but I am still hungry to win more."

JH: What would you give to win more?
FA: "One arm! I am really hungry and really motivated to win more. A third championship is quite an ambitious target to have, to be the same as Senna. To get a championship with Ferrari would be something bigger for me in terms of recognition, in terms of happiness, in terms of proudness for me, for my family, so that is the main thing for next year."

(Source : skysports.com)

Standings after Abu Dhabi GP

Monday, November 4, 2013

Abu Dhabi GP : Alonso & Massa Sunday quotes

Fernando Alonso: "I am satisfied to score points for the team in a race that was difficult, it was really a very complicated weekend for us. The gap was huge with the first 4 and I do not think that I could have done better and the fact of starting 10th has not helped us, we knew we were going to be in traffic so we needed to make a good start, tried to reassemble as much positions as possible. When we saw that we were always behind some cars and that it had become impossible to achieve our strategy of one stop, we have therefore chosen an aggressive strategy of two stops. Mediums were pretty well so we thought that we could use the soft tyres for a short relay and make a series of fast laps.My battle with Vergne, I do not know what the Commissioners are going to say (Editor's Note: he was not penalised) but the rule is clear when you're faced with a car you must give the necessary space or he took all the track.For me it is a race incident, in the end I find my race fantastic but now we do not want to give up the fight in the constructors championship, we must absolutely do our best and finish the last two races on the podium."

Felipe Massa: "I was competitive from start to finish and my car was quite good, it was a beautiful race. Our strategy was based on one stop but when we realized that tyres degraded too quickly to the rear train we decided to make a second stop for not taking risks.The choice of medium tyres rather that the soft ones was not a good idea because the soft tyres were faster at least one second per lap and I had done 19 laps on the first stint, so this would not have been a concern at the end of race.It is a shame because we could finish at least fifth, even if this is not the result we deserved I am always satisfied with my performance.We are now moving to Texas and Brazil, two tracks which should suit our car and I hope that I can continue to be competitive."

Abu Dhabi GP : the race results

Abu Dhabi GP : Alonso & Massa Saturday quotes

Fernando Alonso: "it was a really difficult qualifying session, as this weekend even if the times from 11th may help so let's hope this will be the case here even if I think it is best to go in Q3 but unfortunately I failed to do a clean lap and I didn't manage to win the tenths that I was missing. Here we suffer more but in general our performance is best on Sundays so I remain positive for the race. We must absolutely get a good start, stay focused and make a perfect race if we want to score points for success our goal to finish second in the constructors championship, tomorrow the race will be long and it will be a difficult fight. We have seen that in the heat the soft tyres are working better than the mediums and if continuous logic then we should start with the soft tyres and pass the mediums when night will fall, obviously we need to wait and see how things go."

Felipe Massa: "I'm happy with my qualification as the best happened than what I was expecting. All weekend we were not competitive enough and after free practice this morning I was worried I didn't go in Q3, but thanks to my lap where I pulled the best car and lower temperatures I managed to win some positions . Today, I did everything I could and I think that without my oversteer in the last corner I could have done even better. However, this track is not suitable for our car, it takes a lot of traction and high temperature does not help us.The race takes place in the evening and I hope that this will allow us to score important points, we need at the moment even if it won't be easy."

Abu Dhabi GP : the grid

Kimi Raikkonen's car failed test of flexibility of the flat bottom after qualifying at Abu Dhabi ! Lotus argued that the left side of Kimi's car flat bottom had suffered a passage on the kerbs but the thesis of the team was rejected by the FIA. So Kimi will start at the end of the grid .

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Abu Dhabi GP : Alonso & Massa Friday quotes

Fernando Alonso: "compared to other Fridays we are less competitive and now we need to work and see if it comes from the characteristics of the track or if it's our set up which is not good. Tyres are working better here than in India, they suffered many blisters last week especially in fast corners but here it is no longer the case especially with the night when temperatures fall.Unfortunately, in terms of performance we are behind our rivals in the battle for the second place in the constructors standings. In comparison of the beginning of the year they grew and became difficult to beat but tomorrow we will make some changes and we will do the maximum because we do not want to abandon the battle."

Felipe Massa: "today we have done throughout the program scheduled for this day on the assessment of the tyres and for the moment I am not satisfied with the tyres . In addition, the behavior of the car is not as good as we hoped on this track, we found ourselves in difficulty under the sun with high temperatures then the climatological have drop with the night. These variations make it difficult data understanding.Now we need to analyze the data to improve the performance of the car for tomorrow's qualifications , we know that it won't be easy but we will do our best."

Abu Dhabi GP : FP2 results

Abu Dhabi GP : FP1 results