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23rd June 2010, 18:42
Massa: Title hopes still alive

Felipe Massa says his title challenge is "definitely" still alive and hopes to be competitive in Valencia with a heavily updated Ferrari package.

The new points system has made the championship fight closer then ever, and with Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull seemingly on a similar pace after Montreal, the Brazilian knows that a couple of good results could transform his season.

"Until you see from a mathematical point of view that you don't have a chance anymore, the championship is definitely open," he said. "We saw that in two races many things changed. Many things can change quickly in another two races."

Although the 28-year-old had a troubled time in Canada, coming together with Vitantonio Liuzzi at the start of the race and former team-mate Michael Schumacher towards the end, and eventually finished down in 15th, Massa felt a good car underneath him and is hopeful heading to the second Spanish venue of the season.

"Valencia is a circuit close to Canada in terms of the layout. We had a good car in Montreal in the race. I had very good laptimes and a good, consistent car - so this is something to look forward to for Valencia," Massa added.

Meanwhile, team-mate Fernando Alonso is excited by returning to his home country and is gunning for the win to put him firmly in the mix with championship leader Lewis Hamilton.

"I expect a very strong Ferrari again in Valencia," said the Spaniard. "The goal is to be on the podium on Sunday afternoon. The dream is to win the race. I think there's a good atmosphere in the team and I'm very optimistic."


24th June 2010, 18:09
European GP - Massa: “Valencia – good memories for me”6.24.2010

Valencia, 24 June – It takes a major event to change the Scuderia’s timetable at a race, but this afternoon, Felipe Massa’s regular Thursday press meeting was delayed until the half time whistle in the Italy – Slovakia game, as most of the journalists could not be dragged away from the TV screens. Sadly, despite a last minute thrilling and valiant fight back from the Azzuri, they will take no further part in the World Cup, having lost 3-2 to Slovakia.

Professionalism returned once the microphones were switched on and the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver was quizzed about his thoughts on this weekend’s ninth round of the world championship. “We have some new parts on the car, on the aerodynamic front, the floor and the bodywork and a new exhaust system, so I hope the result is a step forward for the F10, which will allow us to get to closer to the teams currently ahead of us,” began the Brazilian. “There are still many races to go and at every one, it is very important to score more points than our competitors, but no way is this weekend our last chance to fight for the title. The points gap is not as big as it looks and we have seen that everything can change in just a couple of races, which means the championship is still completely open. I think this can be a good track for us, as we had a strong car in Canada, especially in the race, but also in qualifying and I expect it to be even stronger at this circuit. This weekend it will be very important as always to qualify well on Saturday. Tomorrow’s free practice will be important, as apart from the usual job of understanding how the tyres work and how the fuel loads affect the car’s behaviour, we will also be testing the new updates to see what performance they produce, so there will be a lot of work to do.”

When Felipe goes out to start that first free practice session, it will the first time he has driven here for two years: “A track where you have won is always special and in 2008, I won having started from pole so it has good memories for me. Unfortunately, last year I could not take part, but my target is to try and repeat my 2008 victory. That is the main thought on my mind.”

24th June 2010, 18:10
European GP - Alonso: “We arrive in Valencia with a good package”6.24.2010

Valencia, 24 June – All three Spanish drivers were called up to today’s FIA press conference in Spain, so that Fernando Alonso was there along with Pedro de la Rosa and Jaime Alguersuari. “It’s always good racing in your home country and hopefully we will put on a good show for all the people here,” began the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver. “It will be interesting to see how this race goes as there have been some circuits better for us, some circuits with problems, some up and down for the team performance in the last couple of races so hopefully we can continue the performance we saw in Montreal, be competitive here again and hopefully finish on the podium. We are happy with the job we have done in these last couple of weeks so we arrive in Valencia with a good package in our car but we remain very calm about our expectation as other teams were not watching television in these last two weeks so I think everybody will bring updates here. Hopefully ours is a little bit better than others.”

Having suffered because of slow backmarkers in Canada, the Spaniard was asked if he felt next year’s re-introduction of the rule that any car not qualified within 107% of the pole time cannot start the race would help this situation. “I don’t think that next year we will see the difference that we’ve seen this year. I think the three new teams arrived very late and I think next year they will be better prepared and the gap will be closer.”

A relaxed Fernando also had some fun with a journalist who asked what he felt about the updates on the F10 after, a few days ago, he did some laps of the Fiorano circuit as part of a filming day, which is allowed in the F1 rules. “The feeling was very good and I was running behind a car with cameras so it was very good at 60kph, very stable,” he joked. “We also did some laps without a car in front but we had ten cameras on the car and on the helmet so it was not very comfortable to drive. It was also my first time driving a Ferrari Formula 1 car at Fiorano, so I really have no idea but I think tomorrow we will have a better answer.”


24th June 2010, 18:48
Alonso 'loves' unique Ferrari pressure
Eurosport - Thu, 24 Jun 13:49:00 2010 www.eorusport.yahoo.co.uk

Double world champion Fernando Alonso has claimed he that he loves driving with the pressure and expectation that comes with racing for Ferrari.

"I love the feeling to (have to) absolutely deliver performance. I love starting the race as the favourite," the favourite told the official F1 website.

"This is why it was particularly difficult for me in the last two seasons at Renault. To know after qualifying that you are at best eighth or ninth is not really my thing.

"This is why I prefer being in this situation now. The bigger the pressure is, the more people expect from me - and the more comfortable I feel.

"It makes me very proud to be part of Ferrari's history, but I also feel a big responsibility being a Ferrari driver.

"Ferrari has the biggest fan base all over the globe, and this is unbelievable. I know that I have to deliver the performance - but I am absolutely ready to do so."

The 28-year-old added that he had wanted to become a Ferrari driver for years before making the move - and that he intends to stay with the iconic marquee for the rest of his career.

"When I left McLaren at the end of 2007 it was already in my head that I wanted to be a Ferrari driver at some point in time. This was my goal.

"I did not exactly have the best time at McLaren, (but) the history of F1 shows clearly that Ferrari and McLaren are the strongest teams. To make my career perfect I knew that I had to go to Ferrari.

"At the beginning it was just a dream, but last summer the critical meetings were put in-place to make this dream come true. After that, everything went really quickly and I did not let this incredible opportunity pass me by.

"My goal (is to finish my F1 career with Ferrari). I want to bring the performance, always give the maximum and triumph in the end, as long and as often as possible."

25th June 2010, 03:30
Alonso Shows New Teams Some Sympathy

Fernando Alonso on Thursday did not back Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo's latest attack on the new teams.

Montezemolo insists that the grid should be filled by bigger teams fielding three cars, while struggling outfits like Lotus, Virgin and HRT "are supposed to race on Sunday mornings" in GP2.

The Italian also said Alonso's push for victory in Canada two weeks ago was ruined by the lapping of backmarkers.

Ferrari driver Alonso, 28, was asked by reporters about the comments at Valencia, but said he would have "nothing to say" about the slow teams in Friday's briefing with Charlie Whiting of the FIA.

"Next year I don't think we will see the difference that we've seen this year," he answered, referring to the difference in pace between the established and new teams.

"I think the three new teams arrived very late this year and I think next year they will be better prepared and the gap will be closer," added Alonso.

PaddockTalk Perspective

25th June 2010, 03:31
A winning formula

Valencia, 24 June 2010 –Two weeks after the Canadian Grand Prix weekend, the Formula 1 circus is back in Valencia, bringing life to the city’s port, for the third running of the European Grand Prix, the ninth round of the World Championship which takes place this Sunday on the streets of the Spanish city. The first day of the meeting was a busy one and Fernando Alonso, along with Emilio Botin, president of the Spanish bank which sponsors Scuderia Ferrari, was involved on behalf of the hundred bursaries of the “Becas Formula Santander 2010” scheme. The initiative, announced at the Bahrain Grand Prix, has chosen a hundred of the most deserving students from a field of two thousand, from fifty five Spanish universities. Thanks to a study grant worth 5000 Euros, the prize-winners will be able to complete their studies in around eight hundred universities and research centres around the world, that collaborate with Santander, through its Division Global Santander Universidades.

During the meeting, president Botin thanked the Spanish driver for his support as a spokesman for the project, which provides 600 million Euros to finance university projects for the next five years because, “for Santander, helping youngsters with their studies is the best investment for the future.” Alonso then expressed his good wishes to all the students involved and thanked the sponsor for choosing him as a spokesman. “Thanks to this initiative, I have been able to support a project that wants to give youngsters the best possible future. For me it is a real honour to play my part, in what is a unique idea and a winning formula.”

25th June 2010, 10:51
European GP - Objectives achieved

Valencia, 25 June – The European Grand Prix is the ninth round of the Formula 1 World Championship, the race taking place this Sunday on the Valencia street circuit based on roads around the city’s port. The event got underway this morning with the first free practice session, on a track that is still very dirty. Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes was fastest in 1.41.175, followed by the McLarens of Lewis Hamilton (1.41.339) and Jenson Button (1.41.383.)

Best placed of the two Ferrari drivers was Felipe Massa, fifth in 1.42.182, having completed 21 laps, while team-mate Fernando Alonso finished ninth, running 22 laps, the best in a time of 1.42.421. The team achieved its objectives, with its main priority this morning being an evaluation of the new parts fitted to both cars, including low level exhaust systems and aero updates.
The second free practice session gets underway at 14.00.

25th June 2010, 16:51
Europe Friday quotes: Ferrari

Fernando Alonso - 1st: "Here, as in Montreal, our car seems to work well, even if it's difficult to make a direct comparison, given that the track surface is very different and that one needs a bit more aerodynamic downforce. Together with Felipe, we worked on the development of new technical solutions, but it is hard to say how much we have improved compared to the others. The F10 has turned out to be easy to drive and competitive in every situation, both with low and high fuel loads, but it is too early to say where we are: this morning, the McLarens were very quick, the Red Bulls are always on front running pace and even Mercedes and Renault are very close. However, our only aim is to be ahead of everyone, otherwise we wouldn't be Ferrari."

Felipe Massa - 7th: "The track was very dirty, which makes it difficult to understand exactly how much the new parts which we used for the first time today have improved the performance of the car. I never managed to get a clean lap when I was on new tyres with low fuel and this explains my position on the time sheet. Nevertheless, I am pleased with the handling of my car. I think we have made a step forward in performance terms and that we should be competitive this weekend: I hope I can fight for a place on the top rows. The spin? I hit a kerb, spun and then I chose to brake to avoid hitting the wall: unfortunately the engine cut out and we now have to look into why the anti-stall did not work."

Stefano Domenicali: "I would say that our weekend has got off to a positive start, but it's too early to draw any real conclusion. From what we saw today, we are on the pace on a track that has some similarities to the one in Montreal. Now we have to analyse all the data gathered over these three hours, to be as well prepared as possible for qualifying and especially for the race. As usual, a good grid position will be vital, especially so here on a track where overtaking is very difficult."

Chris Dyer: "Today we had to carry out a very packed programme to test the various new technical updates that we have brought here for the first time. We had a few minor problems this morning with Fernando, which cost a bit of time, while in the afternoon it was Felipe who lost out on half an hour's running time because of a spin. All the same, we were able to manage the situation and gathered all the data we wanted. We are reasonably pleased with what we have seen: at the moment there do not seem to be any reliability problems relating to the new configuration of the exhaust system and the F10 is pretty competitive. At this track, tyre behaviour seems more "normal" compared to Montreal: the hard ones are struggling to get up to temperature but improve lap after lap, while the softs are more consistent than they were in Canada."

25th June 2010, 16:56
European GP - Ferrari competitive in Valencia free practice

Valencia, June 25 – The Ferrari of Fernando Alonso set Friday’s fastest time in the second session of free practice for the European Grand Prix scheduled for Sunday at the Valencia street circuit. Behind the F10 of the Spanish driver (1.39.283) came the two Red Bulls with Sebastian Vettel second fastest (1.39.339) and Mark Webber third (1.39.427). Felipe Massa was seventh fastest in the other F10 with a best time 1.39.947 from 22 laps.

For Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro the outcome is positive at the end of the session, in spite of the half hour lost by the Brazilian driver caused when his engine cut out. For both Ferrari drivers the work focused on the race and on analysis of the updates on the cars – which showed themselves to be competitive on different fuel loads.

Work will continue tomorrow in the third and final session of free practice at 11am in preparation for the decisive qualifying session – scheduled for 2pm.

25th June 2010, 16:59
Fernando Alonso: We will be even stronger with Pat Fry

Fernando Alonso says he’s looking forward to the arrival next week of new deputy technical director Pat Fry, with whom he worked at McLaren.

The Spaniard insists Ferrari has the best people that he┤s ever worked with, adding that Fry can only make things even better.

“He will reinforce our group and we will be even stronger now,” he said after Friday practice in Valencia. “I’m happy, I worked with him in 2007 and he’s a great engineer, and also a great person. I think it will be a really good integration by the team and I’m sure he’ll help the team to be even stronger.”

Meanwhile Alonso says it’s too early to say how good the latest Ferrari update package is, despite topping the times on Friday in Valencia. He says it was hard to make a direct comparison after low grip Montreal.

“Different tracks, different characteristics. So it’s difficult to know exactly what was the improvement of the car, so we’ll wait for tomorrow to see if we’re really more competitive or not. We’ve been on Friday sometimes very quick, I was P1 also on Friday last year, and I was P8 on Saturday. The job we have to do is tomorrow and Sunday, so today is just free practice, to analyse some components of the car, and evaluate the tyres as we did, so we’ll see tomorrow.

“The programme was to get some laps on the system, on the new parts of the car, to confirm that everything’s OK to race on Sunday. So we tried to do many laps today, and with the tyres the normal job, trying both compounds, on low fuel and high fuel, to see the behaviour of the tyre, with some positive results, so we are happy with today’s practice. We know tomorrow is going to be tight, one tenth or two tenths can make P1 or P2, or fifth or sixth position, so we need to be perfect tomorrow.”

Pressed on what he had learned about the updates, Alonso reiterated that he couldn’t yet make a call.

“The car was good today, but it was good also in Canada. I think when you find a difference between one circuit and another, with different levels of downforce, and different levels of grip on the asphalt, it’s difficult to compare the small differences in aero numbers.

“So instead we have to concentrate on tomorrow’s job, trying to do our best in qualifying. The potential is there, we have been quick in Canada, and I think we can be competitive here tomorrow.

“But it’s never going to be easy. I think Red Bull is very strong here this weekend, McLaren is very strong. It’s not so obvious in free practice two, but they were very quick in free practice one this morning. Mercedes with a big aero update as well, so Rosberg and Michael can fight for important positions.

“And also Renault has a new aero package here. I think we all brought something new, so it’s a matter of doing a good job tomorrow, because everything is more or less as in Canada. We all improved, so we all stay the same.”


25th June 2010, 18:09
European GP - Good news from South Africa for Felipe. Fernando has to wait a bit6.25.2010

Valencia, 25 June – Italy’s departure from the football World Cup has not diminished Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro’s interest in the biggest football event in the world. On the agenda of South Africa 2010 today are two great matches of special interest for the Ferrari drivers: Brazil – Portugal in the afternoon and Spain – Chile this evening.

It was not straightforward for Felipe to keep up with news of the Selešao, who played at four, exactly the time when he meets the media. After that came the briefing with the engineers, so he was only able to give the second half his full attention. The top floor of the team hospitality area was like the MaracanÓ in miniature, with the “owner” hosting other Brazilian drivers, Rubens Barrichello and Lucas Di Grassi along with a group of friends. The result was a nil all draw, that our driver was reasonably happy with, given that the team was already qualified which was the main aim. This afternoon’s game also meant that Brazil topped Group G, although it is still very unclear who the team will have to play in the next round. It all hangs on the outcome of two games in Group H, Spain-Chile and Switzerland-Honduras. Tonight it will be Fernando Alonso’s turn to watch with interest as the European champions will have to go for a win in order to qualify for the next stage of the event. The match is obviously eagerly awaited here, to such an extent that an FOM organised photo opportunity with all the drivers at a charity dinner, has been brought forward by half an hour just so that the three Spanish drivers can follow their team. The Scuderia’s media hospitality is already expecting a full house with the Spanish journalists in the front row seats.

25th June 2010, 18:11
European GP - Fernando fastest6.25.2010

Valencia, 25 June - After yesterday’s disappointment at watching Italy get knocked out of the football World Cup, today the Scuderia’s total focus, as always in fact, was on preparing for Sunday’s race. While taking into account all the usual Friday unknowns, regarding what programme the other top teams are running, the European GP campaign seems to have got off to a good start for Ferrari, as Fernando Alonso ended the day fastest of the field of twenty four, while Felipe Massa, who lost some track time this afternoon, when his engine cut out after an otherwise harmless spin, requiring his F10 to be brought back to the pits on a truck, eventually got going again to post the seventh quickest time.

Today’s free practice was one of the busiest of the season so far for the team, because the ban on in-season testing means that Fridays at a Grand Prix are the only real opportunity to track test new car developments and here the F10s sported several, most significantly a different design of exhaust system: no amount of wind tunnel or bench testing work can accurately replicate how something will work on track, especially with components related to heat and high temperatures as is the case with an exhaust redesign. So far, on this front at least, the new parts are working well. Evaluating the aero updates is possibly a bit harder, because the Valencia track is always very dirty for the first session of the weekend, although it improved dramatically in the afternoon: for example, Fernando was over three seconds quicker in the second session than in the first.

Following the Spanish Ferrari driver on the afternoon time sheet were the Red Bull duo, with Sebastian Vettel ahead of Mark Webber, with Nico Rosberg fourth for Mercedes. Lewis Hamilton was fifth in the McLaren, and Robert Kubica’s Renault wrapped up the top six.

With several other formulae competing on the Valencia street circuit this weekend, by the time the Formula 1 cars are back in action for final free practice tomorrow morning, the track surface should be much more rubbered in, giving the team a clearer picture of what improvement the new updates on the F10 have delivered, prior to the afternoon’s grid deciding qualifying session.


25th June 2010, 19:17
European Grand Prix - The "itinerant" race6.25.2010

For the third successive year, the European Grand Prix takes place at the purpose built, Valencia street circuit, built around the port used for the Americas Cup yacht races. Once again, the track layout is the work of German architect, Hermann Tilke and its most unusual feature is a bridge that normally opens in the middle to allow ships access to the harbour, but for the race is actually locked shut with the tarmac surface specifically laid down for the race. It is the race's fifth home, although up until the 1977 British Grand Prix, the title of European Grand Prix was an honorary one given in turn to various Formula 1 Grands Prix already on the calendar as their national race.

The modern iteration of the race owes its title to the fact that the rules state that a country may only stage one round of the World Championship, therefore calling a race "The European Grand Prix" conveniently gets round this problem. The solution was also used in 1994 and '95, when Japan hosted two F1 races, with the one at the Aida Circuit being known as "The Pacific Grand Prix." The first of these standalone European Grand Prix was held at Brands Hatch in 1983, with the then brand new Nurburgring staging it the following year. In fact, the German circuit has been the nearest thing to a permanent home for Europe, holding the race a dozen times. Donington Park in the UK was used just once, when Ayrton Senna secured one of the best wins of his career in one of the wettest races ever held. Jerez de la Frontera held the event in 1994 and 1997: the second year in Spain saw the controversial incident between Michael Schumacher and Jacques Villeneuve, when the Ferrari and Williams rivals were fighting for the title at what was the last round of the championship. The two cars tangled and the Canadian took the crown, although victory on the day went to Mika Hakkinen, the first time the Finn had won a Grand Prix and the German was later disqualified from that year's results.

With Fernando Alonso being a double world champion, Spanish interest in the sport increased enormously in recent years and this led to the local authorities in Valencia, which already boasts a permanent race track regularly used for winter testing, coming up with the idea of staging a street race around the facility built for the Americas Cup yacht races. In its first year, the venue did not quite live up to the tag of being the "Spanish Monaco" as the harbour did not feature many yachts and the backdrop was not particularly colourful, while the track itself was not felt to be much of a challenge. Fast for a street circuit, the layout appeared to have a few overtaking opportunities, but in practice, this was not the case and the race, although a success for the Scuderia, was not particularly exciting. Changes are expected for this year's event.

Ferrari is the most successful team in this race, with six wins to its name, four of them courtesy of Michael Schumacher, with one win apiece for Rubens Barrichello and Felipe Massa, who had the honour of being the first ever driver to win in Valencia in 2008. It was the Brazilian's one hundredth Grand Prix appearance and he started from pole position. Kimi had to retire with an engine failure, while lying sixth.


26th June 2010, 10:44
European GP - Alonso fifth and Massa eighth in final free practice 6.26.2010

Valencia, 26 June – Sebastian Vettel came out on top in the third and final free practice session for the European Grand Prix, in a time of 1.38.052. Behind the German Red Bull driver came Robert Kubica in the Renault in 1.38.313 and the second Red Bull of Mark Webber (1.38.313.) Fernando Alonso was fastest of the two Ferraris, in fifth place with a time of 1.38.513, having completed 18 laps. In the other F10, Felipe Massa ended up eighth, doing 16 laps on his way to a time of 1.38.686.


26th June 2010, 16:41
A step in the right direction, but with a hint of regret. That sums up the outcome of qualifying at the European Grand Prix, for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, which has its pair of F10s in fourth and fifth places on the grid, with Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa respectively.

“We are reasonably pleased with this result,” commented Stefano Domenicali. “The car proved to be competitive and everything was in place to secure an even better result but, for various reasons, we never managed to put together the perfect lap with either of our two drivers. All the same, we know that as always, the points are only given out tomorrow. We can expect a long and difficult race for the drivers the teams and the cars and, as I usually say on Saturdays, reliability will be the key. The technical updates we introduced this weekend have seen us take a step forward in terms of performance, but we must continue to push on the development front, because the other teams are doing the same.”

Fernando Alonso: “I am happy with this result. Here, so many teams, including Ferrari, have brought new parts and so it was important to show we are capable of fighting for the top places. We managed it and we must bear in mind that, without the updates we have on the F10, we would probably have struggled to make it into Q3. Tomorrow, we have the potential to fight for a podium place: it will be important to get a good start, choose the right strategy and not make any mistakes because the walls here are not forgiving. Obviously, reliability will be very important as this track is very tough on the cars. With the harder tyre, our car was more competitive as its behaviour inspired more confidence over the flying lap, but to have done Q3 with this compound would probably have compromised our race.”

Felipe Massa: “Today, we had a good car and the potential was there to do better than this fifth place. In Q1 and Q2, I was very pleased with the handling of my F10, but in Q3 I was not able to improve, mainly because of traffic that prevented me from preparing the tyres properly. It’s a shame, because I could have been starting from third place tomorrow: from fifth it will be harder to fight for a podium finish, but the chance is still there within our grasp. The updates the team has brought here contributed to making the car more competitive and they lived up to our expectations: we must continue down this route for the rest of the season.”

Chris Dyer: “There is a hint of disappointment at this result. After this morning’s third free practice session, we saw that our car was very competitive on the harder tyre, while it struggled a bit more to get the best out of the softer one on the single flying lap. In the two hours before qualifying, the team worked on trying to find the right compromise and the situation improved, but not enough to put us in the fight for the very top positions, which was also down to the fact that neither driver managed to get a clean lap in Q3. That explains why Felipe and Fernando ended up where they did. All the same, it’s not a bad position for the race: from what we have seen so far, the F10 seems to be very competitive over a long run.”

26th June 2010, 20:09
European GP - A step forward for the Scuderia 6.26.2010

Valencia, 26 June – Most F1 drivers readily admit that racing in front of a home crowd provides a great boost, however, in the high tech world of Formula 1, a cheering crowd has no effect on the stopwatch. If it did, then maybe Fernando Alonso would be starting from further up the grid than his eventual fourth place on the second row, as the Spanish fans packing the Valencia grandstands cheered his every lap during qualifying this afternoon. The Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver’s performance and indeed that of his team-mate Felipe Massa, who qualified just one place behind him, was slightly compromised by the fact that neither man put together a perfectly clean lap. In addition, although the new updates, including a low configuration exhaust system and various aerodynamic modifications introduced here, delivered the performance boost the engineers had expected, the F10 might still be a fraction lacking in outright pace when compared to the quickest. Today, that meant the Red Bull Racing duo, as they monopolised the front row of the grid for tomorrow’s European Grand Prix, with Sebastian Vettel on pole and Mark Webber beside him in second. Fernando will share his row with third placed Lewis Hamilton in the McLaren, while Felipe has the Renault of Robert Kubica alongside him.

With both types of Bridgestone tyre performing more consistently than they did in Montreal a fortnight ago, tomorrow’s race is likely to be less incident packed than the Canadian thriller and it should feature a straightforward one-stop strategy for most drivers. But the challenge of the Valencia track should not be underestimated, as it boasts fast sections, heavy braking and barriers very close to the track. One only had to watch this afternoon’s GP2 race, which featured several multiple collisions and the arrival of the Safety Car on the opening lap, to realise that anything could happen: making a good start and keeping out of trouble, will be the Ferrari duo’s first target when the red lights go out at 2pm local time tomorrow, to start the ninth round of the world championship.

27th June 2010, 04:19
Alonso pins hopes on tyre management

Fernando Alonso believes that his hopes of finishing on the podium on home turf in Valencia should be boosted by the fact that his car is so good on its tyres.

Although the F10's characteristics have sometimes led to he and team-mate Felipe Massa struggling to get soft tyres switched on in qualifying, the Spaniard is upbeat about how their plight could well be a help for the likely long stint on harder tyres that are expected in Sunday's race.

"To get the maximum from the soft is difficult for us," said Alonso. "We need to improve in that area, but it is not the first time it has happened.

"Sometimes we feel more comfortable with the prime. And, in a way, it is an advantage for the race pace because when we have to do 40/50 laps with the prime tyre, normally we are better than our competitors. We will try and exploit that more."

Although the upgrades that Ferrari brought to Valencia, including the blown diffuser, did not help the team overcome Red Bull Racing or McLaren, Alonso said he was still pleased with the situation the team found itself in.

"I think it is okay, I think it is what we expected," he said. "I think everyone did a big step, so there are teams like Mercedes out of Q2. That creates a picture of this championship - how interesting it is, and how much improved everybody is to see Mercedes out of Q2. So thanks to our improvements we are fourth and fifth.

"That is a fantastic result for the team. There were many races we were not fourth and fifth, we were struggling a lot, so hopefully tomorrow we have the possibility to be on the podium.

"But for sure we need to keep improving because half a second off Red Bull is too much. We need to keep improving."

27th June 2010, 08:05
Alonso praises Ferrari's updates

Fernando Alonso has praised Ferrari's updates for Valencia, saying the team would have struggled to reach Q3 without them.

The Italian squad has introduced several new components in its F10 in the hope of moving forward, and the team enjoyed a good qualifying on Saturday.

Alonso qualified in fourth position, with team-mate Felipe Massa in fifth.

The Spaniard admitted he was pleased with his performance, and conceded things would have been much harder for his team without the upgrades.

"I am happy with this result," said Alonso. "Here, so many teams, including Ferrari, have brought new parts and so it was important to show we are capable of fighting for the top places.

"We managed it and we must bear in mind that, without the updates we have on the F10, we would probably have struggled to make it into Q3.

"Tomorrow, we have the potential to fight for a podium place: it will be important to get a good start, choose the right strategy and not make any mistakes because the walls here are not forgiving.

"Obviously, reliability will be very important as this track is very tough on the cars. With the harder tyre, our car was more competitive as its behaviour inspired more confidence over the flying lap, but to have done Q3 with this compound would probably have compromised our race."

Massa believes a better result was possible given the performance of the car, but the Brazilian said traffic had prevented him from getting his tyres working perfectly.

"Today, we had a good car and the potential was there to do better than this fifth place," he said. "In Q1 and Q2, I was very pleased with the handling of my F10, but in Q3 I was not able to improve, mainly because of traffic that prevented me from preparing the tyres properly.

"It's a shame, because I could have been starting from third place tomorrow: from fifth it will be harder to fight for a podium finish, but the chance is still there within our grasp.

"The updates the team has brought here contributed to making the car more competitive and they lived up to our expectations: we must continue down this route for the rest of the season."

27th June 2010, 09:08
Alonso vows to avoid Hamilton as teammate

Fernando Alonso has admitted he will try to avoid sharing a Formula One team with Lewis Hamilton in the future.

The pair famously clashed when, as the reigning double world champion, Spaniard Alonso moved to McLaren in 2007 and was paired with then rookie Hamilton.

But Alonso, 28, has always said it was the team's management that he really clashed with, and the pair are now occasionally seen chatting in the paddock.

"I would have no problems being Fernando's teammate again," said Briton Hamilton.

"I don't have any issues with him. I think he is a great champion and a great driver."

But according to Britain's News of the World, Ferrari driver Alonso has a different view.

When asked if he would like to be Hamilton's teammate again, he answered: "No. Not if it was my choice after what happened with us."


27th June 2010, 17:21
European GP - The fans call it “a scandal”

Valencia, 27 June – A scandal , that’s the opinion of so many fans and employees who are all in agreement: there is no other way to describe what happened during the European Grand Prix. The way the race and the incidents during it were managed raise doubts that could see Formula 1 lose some credibility again, as it was seen around the world.

http://www.ferrari.com/English/Formula1/News/Headlines/Pages/100627_F1_europeangp_the_fans_call_it_a_scandal.as px

27th June 2010, 17:22
European GP - A race ruined by the safety car

Valencia, 27 June – Ninth and fourteenth places; those are the positions in which Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa took the chequered flag. A race that could have ended very differently, was ruined by the management of the safety car when the race was neutralised because of the accident between Webber and Kovalainen. After the double pit stop, the race for the two Ferrari men was spent almost entirely in traffic, given that everyone out on track had already done the one planned stop. Now we are waiting for the stewards to rule on the cars that are under investigation.

27th June 2010, 17:22
European GP - Alonso eighth and Massa twelfth after the Stewards’ decision

Valencia, 27 June – The drivers who were under investigation for having exceeded the time limit under the Safety Car period have each been penalised five seconds. Therefore, Fernando gains a place and is classified eighth, while Felipe nevertheless remains outside the points, moving up to twelfth spot.

27th June 2010, 18:36
Stefano Domenicali: “The outcome of this Grand Prix leaves us with a very bitter taste. We had everything we needed to clinch a good result and we have ended up with a handful of points which is even less than we brought home from our worst race, a month ago in Turkey. It is a real shame because over this weekend we have shown that we have made a good step forward in terms of performance and the opening stage of the race looked promising. Then came the unfortunate blow linked to the safety car period, which arrived at the very worst moment for us in that both our cars had just gone past the pit lane entry and therefore were forced to do a full lap behind the Safety Car. And that definitely compromised our race. I think that the incidents linked to the neutralisation put some questions on the table regarding how to manage situations like this and the eventual penalties linked to them. We have to ensure that our sport remains credible in the eyes of those involved and those who follow it, at the track and in front of their TV screens.”

Fernando Alonso: “The race was ruined by the Safety Car and everything that followed on from that. I am disappointed most of all for the thousands of spectators who were here today and saw how the situation was handled. I am very bitter about what happened today. I was in third place, a metre behind Hamilton at the moment the Safety Car came out on track and, at the chequered flag, he was second and I was ninth, even though we had made the same choice of strategy. The penalty he was given came when it could no longer have any real influence on his finishing position. From then on, my race was compromised. I was always in traffic and I did not get the performance I had expected from the hard tyres: this also explains the difficulty I had in passing first Sutil and then Buemi. This is definitely a bad result for us, but I still hang onto the idea that we will do the maths at the end, in Abu Dhabi: incidents we have no control over will be made up for. We must continue to work and push on the car development front to try and be the quickest on the track.”

Felipe Massa: “Another horrible race on the back of the one in Canada. We were lying third and fourth with cars capable of getting a great result and instead, everyone has seen how it ended. On the lap when the accident happened, we were coming into the final corner and there was nothing, then suddenly, the Safety Car came out on track and I saw in the mirrors that the cars behind us were pitting: our chance of fighting for the podium went up in smoke at that moment. The difference between us and Hamilton is that he committed an infraction and we did not, but his penalty had no effect on his result. I think that errors were made in the way this situation was managed. From then on, our race was practically one long procession in traffic with no chance of changing anything. A real shame because today we could have done really well.”

Chris Dyer: “We are very disappointed with the outcome of this race. The arrival of the Safety Car on track ruined what should have been a very good race for us, given the potential at our disposal. It is very, very difficult to overtake at this track therefore our race was totally compromised by an innocuous occurrence like a Safety Car period. In performance terms, this weekend has shown that we have made a step forward, but at the same time, we still have a lot of work to do to be where we want to be.”

27th June 2010, 20:49
Ferrari calls for SC rules rethink

By Jonathan Noble Sunday, June 27th 2010, 18:41 GMT

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has urged the FIA and rival teams to consider a change to the safety car regulations to prevent a repeat of the events that hurt his outfit at the European Grand Prix.

Domenicali said he was left 'angry' by the situation in Valencia - when Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa lost valuable time stuck behind a safety car, while seeing title rival Lewis Hamilton effectively escape without punishment for overtaking it

Although he moved to play down talk of Ferrari viewing the events as a ‘scandal', suggesting that a statement on the team's website was merely expressing the view of fans, he was adamant that the safety car regulations needed a better look at.

His biggest disappointment was the delay it took to punish Hamilton for overtaking the safety car, which had allowed him to build up enough of a lead over Kamui Kobayashi to take a drive-through penalty without losing a position.

"Of course we are very angry because we didn't get the points that we should have got from this race – considering our performance," said Domenicali.

"If I have an analysis of this weekend from a technical point of view then we made a step forward, not enough for sure to catch mainly the Red Bull, but it was in the right direction.

"We saw the first lap of the race that the situation was progressing in the right direction, so on that at least we did the right step. But if you look at the classification of tonight, we had less points than the most difficult race we had this year. So it is very frustrating.

"On the sporting side, for me – I think we were on one side extremely unlucky. If you look, the only four cars that were on the main straight when the safety car was deployed were [Sebastian] Vettel, Hamilton, Fernando and Felipe.

"Sebastian was able to be in front of the safety car, Hamilton was basically not respecting the yellow light on the safety car, and then we had one complete lap with our two cars behind the safety car and, in the meantime, starting from Button onwards, all the others were coming in.

"The frustration is something related to the fact that I know that certain decisions, before they are taken, are right and not wrong. But when the situation is that if you take a decision and that decision, it has an affect on the end classification, but because of the delay it doesn't happen, this is something we need to consider."

Domenicali also questioned why drivers were only given minor five-second penalties for breaking the safety car delta time rules.

"By doing this kind of precedent then what is happening is in the future, you might sometimes prefer to break the rule and have this kind of penalty and not respect the rules. This is not correct in my view."

Domenicali said that Ferrari had spoken to the FIA after the race to clarify what happened, as it seeks improvements in the way such matters are dealt with in the future.

"We have already taken up this matter with the FIA," said Domenicali. "The result is closed and it is finished, for the future we have to make sure that the things we have been discussing will not happen again."

Domenicali said that comments from Alonso that the FIA had ‘manipulated' the result of the race were made in the heat of the moment.

"Well, I think we have to consider [him being] in a hot moment," he explained. "For sure Fernando was the man that was ruined by the situation. Our race was hurt by a situation that was not under our control. That is what I can say."


28th June 2010, 11:13
"Shame" - the cry of the tifosi on the internet

"Shame. Yesterday we witnessed one of the darkest chapters of modern Formula One," writes Lorenzo.Cloud. Just before, Redman had written: "The decision of the race officials on Hamilton is SHAMEFUL! 'McLadren' (McLaren thieves) up to their usual dirty tricks." BlackMadonna of Germany says: "This race was a smack in the face of all Formula 1 fans, not just those who support Ferrari."

As early as 3pm yesterday the first messages from angry and outraged Ferrari fans (tifosi) from around the world started appearing on the Forum of www.ferrari.com about what was happening on the Valencia circuit. Stelago called for the race to be annulled, stressing: "The FIA at Valencia showed it's not entirely in charge of the events that it's organising." Everrouge agrees with him: "But where's the FIA? Is this the latest version of Jean Todt? Those who order and manipulate are always the same." Envyme also has it in for the FIA, adding: "Federation of clowns! What help is a five-second penalty? Useless and the usual English mafia!"

Naturally the fans don't spare the man who passed the Safety Car. Maranellolover writes: "Enough with the help for Hamilton. How can he lie and cheat and still get away scot-free?"

These are some of the comments on the Ferrari forum at the address:


28th June 2010, 18:32
think that is what ALL of Tifosi are feeling. I didnt hardly speak to any one at work today. Especially as got couple McCheat fans work with me.

Shame for F1 this is.

28th June 2010, 18:32
Domenicali: “Never get complacent about safety”6.28.2010

Maranello, 28 June – The Valencia race will go down in the Formula 1 annals because of the accident involving Webber and Kovalainen and all the subsequent events triggered off by it. Apart from all the comments relating to the management of the Safety Car period and the way in which it led to ten drivers being penalised, the most important aspect of the event is that Mark Webber emerged virtually unscathed from an accident that was as spectacular as it was horrifying. “I already mentioned it yesterday afternoon, at the very start of the press meeting,” Stefano Domenicali said today. “We all breathed a sigh of relief when we saw Mark get out of the cockpit of his car unaided. Accidents like this serve to remind us to always be aware that safety is the number one priority in our sport and that, no matter how much work has already been done in this area, one must never get complacent

28th June 2010, 18:35
Montezemolo: “What happened at Valencia was very serious and unacceptable” 6.28.2010
Maranello, 28 June – At the usual post-race briefing this morning in Maranello, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo and Stefano Domenicali examined what happened in yesterday’s race at Valencia in the cold light of day.

At the end of the meeting, the Ferrari president released the following statement: “The result of yesterday’s race was misrepresentative. Ferrari, which showed itself to be competitive in the European Grand Prix, paid a price that was too high for respecting the rules. Meanwhile those who didn’t follow the rules were penalised by the race officials in a way that was less severe than the damage suffered by those who did respect them. That is a very serious and unacceptable event that creates dangerous precedents, throwing a shadow over the credibility of Formula One. We are sure that the FIA will fully analyse what happened, taking the consequent necessary decisions. Ferrari will watch this with interest.”


28th June 2010, 18:36
Formula chaos in the world press6.28.2010

“Calm Vettel wins chaotic race” is the Herald Tribune’s headline, “Scandal Hamilton, Ferrari deceived,” titles the Gazzetta dello Sport. “It’s Formula Chaos” claims La Repubblica, while the Spanish daily Marca underlines in an article titled “Formula 1 drivers have to oppose Hamilton’s favourable treatment” pointing out how the whole race was distorted. That yesterday’s race was decided when the safety car came out and was overtaken is a fact recognised also by The Times, underlining how Alonso and Massa “correctly stayed behind the Safety Car”, while this was the race’s turning point.

28th June 2010, 18:41
Thanks for all these Rob! I can understand why the Italian and Spanish media have taken Ferrari's point of view, but sad to say everyone else seems to be laughing at them.

28th June 2010, 18:48

Yeah i know and its sad. Imagine if this would of happened to Lewis or Button. British press would be calling us cheats aswell and not seeing the evidence that is clearly in front of them and backing us. Its case of casual british fans (watch just cos Lewis and Jense is winning) and the media not understanding the rules and safety aspect of the rules.

28th June 2010, 19:26

Yeah i know and its sad. Imagine if this would of happened to Lewis or Button. British press would be calling us cheats aswell and not seeing the evidence that is clearly in front of them and backing us. Its case of casual british fans (watch just cos Lewis and Jense is winning) and the media not understanding the rules and safety aspect of the rules.

Yep the british media and fans in general are biased parasites. All forums they are all claiming alonso is obsessed with Hamilton for getting upset, when in reality he would feel the same if any other championship rival had cheated and profited. British media really is a joke as well, I cant for mark hughes bbc article tomorrow on Lewis vs alonso. Expect to hear Alonso is cracking and still obsessed with 2007 and allowing hamilton to get under his skin. Well its easy to get under someones skin when your allowed to cheat and get away with it. The british drivers have been very lucky all year especially button. Our luck will change.

28th June 2010, 19:56
Yep the british media and fans in general are biased parasites.

As opposed to the open minded Alonso fans right? get a grip

28th June 2010, 20:01
As opposed to the open minded Alonso fans right? get a grip

Thats generalising quite a bit. Sure, all fans are partisan to their own team/driver... but i will agree with Mirage on this, the british press is absolutely the worst.
I am guessing they are blaming their loss in the world cup to the goal that was disallowed.

28th June 2010, 20:05
Thats generalising quite a bit. Sure, all fans are partisan to their own team/driver... but i will agree with Mirage on this, the british press is absolutely the worst.
I am guessing they are blaming their loss in the world cup to the goal that was disallowed.

No worse than the Italian, Spanish and German media :-) gets a bit boring people branding all Brit fans under the same.....

28th June 2010, 20:17
No worse than the Italian, Spanish and German media :-) gets a bit boring people branding all Brit fans under the same.....

lol.. i guess its cause more ppl can read english rather than italian, spanish or german.

28th June 2010, 20:32
I don't really think it's fair slating the general British media for bias... not trying to defend them or anything, but it's not like the Italian press are not biased towards Ferrari, or the Spanish press are not biased towards Alonso or the German press are not biased towards Schumacher/Vettel/Mercedes!

And just as an example, following England's exit from the World Cup, all the tabloids here have been hammering the team and the players and the manager and even the Football Association! So the "biased" British press can go to both extremes.

28th June 2010, 20:40
They slated Jenson in the past as well, now just tend to ignore him, anyway the specialist F1 press in the UK is pretty good, the guardian etc is not what I would consider F1 media in the UK.

28th June 2010, 21:14
They slated Jenson in the past as well, now just tend to ignore him, anyway the specialist F1 press in the UK is pretty good, the guardian etc is not what I would consider F1 media in the UK.

Exactly! :-)

28th June 2010, 21:19
No worse than the Italian, Spanish and German media :-) gets a bit boring people branding all Brit fans under the same.....

its worse because its more widespread. english press dominates the english speaking market, and main publications, autosport, f1racing, bbc.

28th June 2010, 21:57
I really don┤t think we can blame Lewis for doing what he did. Vettel was in front of him and then suddenly he saw the SC coming. He knew at that moment that if he succeeded in crossing the line before the SC did and the Ferrari's did not, he would get rid of them. But Fernando was right behind him and he had to make sure Fernando would stay behind. So he tried to be just in time, but he was too late. From then on he must have known he would get a penalty but as long as he did not get it he could win time.
It was clever thinking and no more than that.
The mistake however was not his, he just took the opportunity that came to him in these few moments.
The real mistake was the SC being far too late. The SC should have been in front of VEttel, who was the leader. But they screwed up and noone, not the stewards or Charlie or whoever corrected the situation. On the contrary, they did nothing for a long time.
And after the race , there were no excuse made , no mistakes admitted. No, the FIA stays quiet and does not take the blame.
And that is bad for the sport, the fans and Ferrari.
Racecontrol and the FIA are to blame in this and not Lewis who simply tried to take the opportunity given to both Vettel and himself. The only mistake Lewis made was that he was too late.
I really dislike Hamilton, but we have to stay fair.

29th June 2010, 01:40
Safety Car Was Too Slow Says Massa

Felipe Massa finished a lowly 14th in Valencia after both Ferrari drivers were caught behind the safety car for Mark Webber’s accident, and even penalties for other drivers only pushed him up to 11th.
It was Massa’s third consecutive failure to score, and he still lies eighth in the World Championship, 60 points behind leader Lewis Hamilton.

Massa was furious that he and Fernando Alonso were trapped behind the safety car, which he claims was traveling unusually slowly before it waved them by. The delay meant they tumbled down the order after their pit stops.

“It was a very bad day,” said Massa when asked about his race by this writer. “I think we had a good car, and a good possibility to fight. We were third and fourth. And then we had a very difficult moment when we had the big accident. We didn’t see any yellow flag for the safety car until the main straight, when we were on the main straight we saw it. And then I saw everybody stopping behind me.

“And apart from this we had the safety car at the end of the straight, and it was Lewis, Fernando and me behind the car, and then suddenly the car has yellow lights, doing the normal line. And then suddenly I saw that Lewis passed the car, and it was Fernando and me behind. The car was very, very slow, and we lost completely the whole race there.

“Suddenly we got the green light to pass the safety car in Turn 14, after the accident. So it destroyed completely our race, for me because of the safety car which is not supposed to be so slow like that. But also we lost the possibility to fight.”

Like Alonso, Felipe made it clear that he was not happy with the penalty that ultimately cost Hamilton no positions.

“Lewis passed the car with the yellow lights, and they gave the drive though after 20 minutes, and he didn’t lose anything in the race. Today everything that happened was wrong.”

“What’s happened with the decisions from the race director today, and from everybody who works on the decision, was completely wrong. They cannot do that, because what happened today was a big thing.

“When you are behind the safety car and the safety car has a yellow light, doing the normal line, you cannot pass it. The minimum you need to get for that is a time penalty. The minimum. And not after 20 minutes.”

Massa says he has not given up on his title hopes: “Until the mathematics is not there, I will push, and try to be there for fighting. That’s my style, and I will push.”