Monza Day 1: Ferrari report
9 September, 2011
Sep.9 (Ferrari) The Santander Italian Grand Prix weekend got underway with two very busy free practice sessions. Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso completed a total number of laps equivalent to slightly less than two Grands Prix distances: 57 laps for the Brazilian and 51 for the Spaniard, or 625 kilometres.
Fernando Alonso: “Racing at Monza is always exciting, especially if you are a Ferrari driver. The warmth of the fans is amazing and you can feel it. However, from a technical point of view, today was just a Friday like any other: we worked a lot on comparing different aerodynamic solutions as well as on evaluating different set-up choices on the car. Now we must put everything together and try and make the right choices. Honestly, I think we lack a bit of performance compared to the best, even if there are still the same unknowns relating to Fridays, especially those linked to fuel loads. However, we have to be realistic: the car is more or less the one we had in Spa, apart from specific updates to cope with the fact this track requires low aerodynamic downforce. Sure, it would be nice to repeat last year’s performance, but we know that will be very difficult. You can’t create a miracle in two weeks, but we will do our utmost to give the fans something to cheer about. What is my motivation like for this final part of the season? I am a very competitive person and I don’t like losing. It’s true, this year that’s happened quite often, but there are still targets that are within our grasp, for example, second place in the Drivers’ championship: Webber is not that far ahead.”
Felipe Massa: “I would say it’s been a good day, especially because we managed to do everything on our programme. We have understood which direction to go in from the point of view of our aerodynamic configuration and set-up. Now, we must try and optimise the car both for qualifying and, especially for the race. The difference between the Soft and the Medium? It’s simple, the first is quickest over a lap. On this track, tyre degradation does not seem to be so high, compared to other circuits therefore I don’t think there will be many pit stops. However, we have seen different directions taken in terms of aerodynamic downforce: to understand who has made the right choice, we will have to wait for qualifying and even more so for the race.”
Pat Fry: “Monza is a circuit that is part of history, one of those tracks that has maintained, almost unchanged, the technical characteristics that have characterised it from the very beginning and it is therefore pretty much unique on the calendar, especially in terms of aerodynamics. As a consequence, there is no other track where it is so important to find the best compromise between the need for a good level of aerodynamic downforce to tackle the chicanes and maximum top speed. We tried various configurations on the cars today and we got through the plan we had set out previously without any problems, which is always important. However, now comes the more difficult task, that of analysing the raft of data we have gathered and making the right choices and that is the job we will tackle this evening and tomorrow morning. From what we saw today, McLaren looks very strong, Red Bull as usual is very competitive and Mercedes is also going well because of its speed. We still need to improve a bit, having already made some progress from one session to the next. We will be trying our hardest to succeed.”