Ferrari Have a Greater Understanding of the Hard Tyre Wear

June 7, 2011

Fernando Alonso Monaco 2011

Pat Fry, Ferrari’s Technical Director, is looking for improvements in performance in canada: “I think you need to look at the nature of the tracks and the tyres that are there. Barcelona is a very challenging track. Downforce is key there along with car balance, and you need to generate good tyre temperature.

“Trying to make the hard tyres work is quite difficult and, if you look at some of the smaller teams, they could not get the hard tyre working at all, so you have quite a large spread of the speed of various cars and that grows as the tyres get harder.

“We had a few issues that we were working on last week and we now understand. They were giving us particular issues that exaggerated the problems that people have on the hard tyre, and hopefully we have an understanding of it now, and we have been working on fixing it.

“It is a normal constant stream of updates, and there are a few different parts coming through – a few little bits on the diffuser and a few bits on the rear wing. A reasonable performance step hopefully, if everything goes to plan.

“Hopefully we are still closing the gap to the other teams. There has not been a lot of time between Monaco and Canada, but the nature of the tracks are relatively different in terms of what you need for aero, so we have specific rear wings for those circuits and it is the normal push to get downforce on the car.

“I think it is certainly going to be a challenging race. It is a bit like Monaco I suppose, where it is all about traction and braking. The braking is always a challenge there compared to Monaco. The traction and how cars uses tyres at corner exit will be key for how the rear tyres wear out.

“It is the same two compounds as it has been in the past but, if anything, I think it will be slightly less trouble than last year because the compounds are a bit harder.”

Force India Preview Monaco Grand Prix 2011

May 25, 2011

2011 Monaco Grand Prix Preview

Vijay’s vision
An introduction from the Chairman and Team Principal.

“Few sporting events can rival the glamour and spectacle of the Monaco Grand Prix. It’s a truly unique event that sums up what Formula One is all about and a weekend that everybody enjoys.

“Our approach to Monaco will be similar to Barcelona as we continue to evaluate our new aero platform. It’s especially challenging to introduce this without in-season testing and it will take time for us to fully understand and bring through this new philosophy.

“We will therefore continue to run elements of the new package this weekend so that we can have a phased-introduction over the next few races.

“We saw in Barcelona just how competitive Formula One is at the moment and the teams around us in the midfield are all quite evenly matched. I expect another close fight in Monaco, but we will be pushing hard to be at the head of the midfield group to try and pick up some more points.”

Paul on Monaco

Paul looks forward to racing at home.

“Monaco is one of those races that every driver dreams about. It’s one of the most challenging circuits of the year and one of the ‘big’ races in motorsport. Monaco is also where I live these days, which means I will have two ‘home’ races this year. With all the yachts in the harbour there is always a real buzz to the place and I know it’s going to be an exciting weekend.

“Obviously to go around the streets in a Formula One car, where I normally drive my road car, will feel very special. I’ve raced there before in Formula 3, but that was six years ago and it will feel totally different in a Formula One car.

“Qualifying is normally the key in Monaco. It used to decide your race. We’ll have to see if it’s any different this year with the nature of the Pirelli tyres and the different strategies, but I think overtaking will still be very difficult. I’m definitely looking forward to the challenge.”

Adrian on Monaco

Adrian looks ahead to one of his favourite races of the year.

“Monaco is a very special place for me. I’ve always liked street circuits, but I also have great memories there. It’s a circuit where I’ve usually gone well and 2008 was a great race for me, even though we didn’t get the result we deserved.

“It’s a special race weekend in general. It’s a little bit longer because you have Friday free and you can let all the glamour soak in. But after the weekend it’s nice to go back home and back to reality.

“Monaco has no margin for error. Some of the modern circuits are too easy, but Monaco is a real old traditional place. The barriers are close but you respect the limit more and you have to build your speed up slowly through the weekend so that you don’t go over the limit.”

Problems Frustrate Nico Rosberg

May 23, 2011

Nico Rosberg – Mercedes W01

Nico Rosberg was disappointed that his DRS was not working and this prevented him from overtaking his team mate, Michael Schumacher: “There were some cool battles, but unfortunately it was a difficult race for me.

“The radio didn’t work so that made it difficult to understand the race because there’s so much you have to do with the settings and fuel saving, so that was a bit challenging then my rear wing also broke so I didn’t have the overtaking system and it made it very difficult to overtake. Otherwise for sure I could’ve moved up and I’m sure I would’ve finished a lot closer to the top because I think I had pretty good pace today.

“It didn’t look like he (Schumacher) had a good balance. I was pretty happy with my car, it felt good. I think I had good speed but there’s still a lot of work to do because unfortunately I don’t think we really managed to close the gap yet.”

Michael Schumacher commented: “We managed to make the most out of our possibilities today which is good news, especially for our guys who I am happy for.

“I had a good start; going right through the middle was tight but fortunately it worked out. Then the race was about holding position from there.

“We can be happy with the result but other than that, it was just tricky with oversteer, tyre degradation and poor balance to deal with. Still we achieved what we could have, and I look forward to going to Monaco.”

Ferrari Experiencing Tyre Compound Problems

May 23, 2011

Fernando Alonso Ferrari F10

Ferrari’s Team Principal, Stefano Domenicali, is concerned that the hard compound tyres do not suit the Ferraris. He commented: “At least you cannot say that Pirelli is working for Ferrari… there were doubts at the beginning, that the company would make sure that the tyres for the team would be perfect! Now, apart from that, we need to see what will be the future.

“We need to work very closely with them, to see if this is the right one that we should have. We need to be very cautious. We have seen so many different things happen in the first couple of races since the beginning, and it is difficult to make a judgement at the moment.

“What we saw in Spain were conditions that needed to have maximum downforce, and we don’t have it! We have to multiply the fact that with the hard tyre we were not able to make it work. Remember Fernando was leading for 18 laps – so in 46 laps we were lapped – losing around three seconds per lap. That is difficult to explain.

“I have to say that this was the worst race for us since the beginning in terms of race pace. The last couple of races we were quick, and it is a shame but we have seen that things are so changeable this year, and maybe the tyre aspect has made a big difference so we need to be cautious.

“We need to see where we will be in the next couple of grands prix, as we will have different tyres, which are much softer, and different configuration of cars. Then we will see where we are in the championship, because we will not give up.

“The nature of the people in Maranello has to be that they need to push and, if we still see a light, we need to work hard. We want to see if we can keep it alive as long as possible, so we still believe.”

Red Bull’s Spanish Grand Prix 2011

May 22, 2011


Car 1 SEBASTIAN VETTEL, Finish Position: WINNER Start Position: 2nd
“It was pretty tough today. At the beginning of the race I thought I had a good start, I didn’t understand
where Fernando came from! He started behind me, 16 metres behind, and half way down the straight he
was already side-by-side. He went on the inside of Mark and I went on the outside, so he was leading
after the first corner. We couldn’t get close enough to use the DRS, but we got him with the pit stop.
Fairly early, everyone was getting the options out of the way, so there was half the race left on the hard
tyres. It looked like the McLarens were very strong; they stayed out longer on a different strategy, which
bought them up to second behind us. From then on I knew that it would be very, very close; going into the
last 10 laps felt the same as in China. My tyres were going away from me and I prayed the same was
happening to Lewis, as he was catching up and they seemed so much quicker, especially on the last
sector. At the end of the straights he would be right in my mirrors, so you don’t know if you should defend
or not. It was very close, but on the last two laps, I could make it stick. KERS was on and off, which meant
I was playing around with brake distribution a lot. McLaren and Lewis especially gave us a hard time
today. It’s quite a release when you cross the line and you know that you made it, so I’m very, very
happy. It was a great result and after yesterday a good confirmation that we are strong but, as expected,
McLaren and Ferrari are giving us a hard time and are pushing hard – I’m very happy today. ”

Car 2 MARK WEBBER, Finish Position: 4th, Start Position: 1st
“I don’t think my start was hideous, but Fernando got a phenomenal one. Obviously from then on it
wasn’t the start we had planned and it was a bit of a chess game. People were covering each other’s pit
stops and I really didn’t do much racing on track. At the end of the race I finished 40 seconds behind
Lewis and Seb. It was an interesting day today and shows how fine the margins are; we were frustrated
by Fernando who seemed to pit every time I did! At certain stages I was quick and at others I wasn’t –
that’s the way it was today.”

CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal: “A really exciting race. I think we were all surprised to
see Fernando come through at the first corner in first position and that changed the dynamics of the race.
He didn’t have great pace at the front and it boxed the rest of them up behind. We managed to undercut
with Sebastian, but couldn’t do it with Mark because Ferrari could see what we were doing. It was a
combination of team-work and strategy. Sebastian had to make the passes on Jenson and Massa to make
his strategy work, it was a real risk, but he went for it and made it happen, which is what it’s all about.
Unfortunately for Mark, he spent the first half looking at Fernando Alonso’s exhaust and to get him ahead
in the end we did a dummy which they fell for. Otherwise it was frustrating for Mark and the complete
result would be to have him right up there as well.”

CYRIL DUMONT, Renault: “It was a really tough race – I think it was the toughest of the season
so far, but for the team it was a good result again. It was a shame not to see Mark on the podium, but he
did really well to finish fourth and get some good points for him and the team. Next week will be
important – Mark loves Monaco, so I hope we have a good result there next week – we will see.”

McLaren’s Spanish Grand Prix 2011

May 22, 2011




Circuit de Cataluña, Sunday May 22



Started: 3rd

Finished: 2nd

Fastest lap: 1m26.727s (1st)

Pitstops: Four: laps 11, 23, 35 and 49 (Op-Op-Op-Pr-Pr)

2011 points: 77 (2nd)

“I was pleasantly surprised by how fast we were today. In race trim, I actually think we were quicker than the Red Bulls, except through the really high-speed stuff.

“I pushed as hard as I could all afternoon, and I’m really happy with the result – a few more laps and it might have been a different order at the front, but I just ran out of time at the end.

“Despite DRS, it’s still very difficult to overtake at this track – you can’t follow through Turn Three or Turn Nine, so that makes it really hard. Also, I was in Sebastian’s [Vettel] dirty air and the car was sliding a lot – it was incredibly tough behind him.

“We’re probably still losing out a bit too much in qualifying, but our race pace is right there. So, as you’d expect, we’ll be looking at ways of improving our qualifying pace.

“I was also really happy to see Jenson come through and finish on the podium – it’s a great result for the team. Now I’m already looking forward to Monaco – it’s a circuit where high-speed downforce is less critical and where the driver can make a difference, so it should be a strong track for us.”



Started: 4th

Finished: 3rd

Fastest lap: 1m27.518s (+0.791s,7th)

Pitstops: Three: laps 14, 30 and 48 (Op-Op-Op-Pr)

2011 points:     61 (4th)

“I had a terrible start and was on the outside into Turn One and Turn Three, where I lost further places. I was down in 10th at the end of the first lap, which was extremely disappointing.

“After that, I didn’t think third would really be possible, but as the others all made their pitstops so early, and as my tyres still felt good, I started to think it might be on. After Turkey, it was really fantastic to make the strategy work for me today.

“We stayed on the Option for as long as possible and I did three stops to the others’ four – and the result was that I had a great race. I overtook Mark [Webber] and Fernando [Alonso] within a lap of each other. I knew I wasn’t going to catch the first two, but I pushed as hard as I could just in case something happened ahead of me.

“Tyre life with these Pirellis is like a switch – once you lose the rears, the lap-times just drop. We got it just right today – and, when I finally got onto the Prime, the circuit was in a good condition and the tyre worked pretty well. I really felt like I raced today.

“Finally, I want to say a big thank-you to the team today – we chose a fantastic strategy, the pitstops were perfect and we made everything work. This was the result of a superb team effort.”


Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

“Jenson was edged down to 10th place on the first lap, and from then on he was always going to be playing catch-up. But, using a three-stop strategy hatched in response to that setback, he did just that. He caught up superbly, in fact, balancing the need for speed with the equally crucial requirement that he look after his tyres, and the result was that he ended up on the podium alongside Sebastian and Lewis. It was one of those drives that marks out a true world champion.

“As for Lewis, he drove another storming race, taking the fight to Sebastian from lights to flag. It’s probably fair to say that Red Bull are still a little quicker than us in qualifying, but Lewis showed this afternoon that in race spec we’re now able to match them every inch of the way. Indeed, Lewis was looking for a way past Sebastian in the final few laps – their battle must have made for a thrilling finale for TV viewers and trackside spectators alike – but in the end he just couldn’t pull it off. Nonetheless, as I say, he drove brilliantly.

“In summary, then, we scored 33 world championship points today, which is another decent haul. But we want to win and we intend to win, and that’s exactly what we’ll be doing our damnedest to do on the famously challenging streets of Monte-Carlo in just a few days’ time.”

Force India’s Spanish Grand Prix 2011

May 22, 2011

2011 Spanish Grand Prix Report – 22 May

A fast-paced Spanish Grand Prix saw both Force Indias improve on their qualifying positions with Paul coming home in 12th, followed home by Adrian in 13th.

Paul Di Resta, P12, VJM04/02
Tyres: Option, Option, Option, Prime

“I think we can go away quite satisfied with the result today, especially after making up four places on our grid position.

“We compromised our qualifying by saving tyres yesterday, which was definitely the right approach, but we were just missing a bit more pace to do any more. I also got stuck a few times behind the Toro Rossos in the first, second and third stints, without which I probably could have finished a bit higher up.

“Still, there are a lot of positives because we made the strategy work, the pitstops went well and I think this result is the most we could have expected without the cars ahead of us running into problems.”

Adrian Sutil, P13, VJM04/04
Tyres: Prime, Option, Option, Option


“The end result today is about where we expected to be. I did the opposite strategy to Paul by starting on the prime tyres, which were very slow to start with and the first stint was not that easy. Then, as I ran the options, the race started to come to me and I was able to move forward gradually.

“It was quite easy to overtake today because when the car ahead of you is struggling with the tyres there is such a big speed differential. In the closing laps the car felt good, but I could have done with two or three more laps to maximise my strategy and probably make up some more ground.”

Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal
“I don’t think there’s any doubt that our decision to save tyres yesterday was the right one and the fresh rubber certainly helped us optimise the strategy today.

“Both Paul and Adrian did an excellent job – pushing hard and coming through the field. Adrian lost a little bit of time during one of his pitstops, but apart from that I think we got the most we could reasonably expect from the race.

“However, we know we have plenty of work to do before next week’s race in Monaco and we still need to find some speed if we want to stay at the front of the midfield battle. Sauber, Williams and Toro Rosso are all very closely matched at the moment and we need to establish our position at the head of that group and pushing the top ten.”

Virgin Racing’s Spanish Grand Prix 2011

May 22, 2011


“Marussia Virgin Racing achieved another double finish today to add to its tally at the fifth race of the 2011 Formula One season, the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.

“The grandstands were full in honour of local hero Fernando Alonso and they were rewarded with sunshine and an air temperature of 27°C. The track had been warmed to 41°C and a major concern was to save the tyres in order to optimise the pit-stop strategy.

“The race got off to a clean start, and both Timo and Jérôme followed a three pitstop strategy, using the Hard Pirelli P-Zero tyres only for the last stint. They ran at a similar pace throughout the race and the two cars performed reliably, allowing Timo Glock and Jérôme D’Ambrosio to cross the finish line in 19th and 20th position respectively. “

Timo Glock

“I had a reasonable race – although it was a bit of a struggle going into turn one. Liuzzi got past me as he had a better line but I got past him after the first pitstop, which was good as it meant that we could then go at our own pace.

“In general I think we got the best out of the car today and we had a good strategy in terms of managing the traffic, so overall I’m quite happy with my day.”

Jérôme D’Ambrosio

“I think it was a pretty good race for me – better than qualifying yesterday. I had a pretty good first stint but of course when we hit the traffic it turns into a completely different race.

“Here you lose a lot of time, more than in Turkey, China or Malaysia, but for us it was a good race. We need to look at a small issue with the brakes but apart from that everything went smoothly. The team did a great job again with the strategy. I had some good stints with not too much traffic so overall I’m quite pleased.”

John Booth, Team Principal

“Timo got a particularly good start on the run down to turn one, but unfortunately Liuzzi got past on the outside. He struggled in the first stint with a set of tyres which had a small vibration issue. We picked this up after qualifying but since we needed to run all three sets of our Option tyres today, we elected to use that set in the stint which we thought would be most plagued by traffic.

“It looks in general that our pace was a little bit better than we thought compared to the front-runners and we also didn’t see the traffic we expected in the first stint. After stopping for a new set of Option tyres Timo made light work of getting past Liuzzi and was able to run at his true pace for the rest of the race.

“Jérôme struggled a bit with his braking stability throughout the weekend and this seems to have harmed his pace in the race relative to Timo. However, overall, he completed his objective of moving ahead of the Hispanias.

“In terms of the team performance, another strong weekend in which we have completed the first five-race cycle on the gearbox, which is a huge improvement compared to last year. Now we have our reliability issues behind us, we need to focus on performance developments for the car.”

Williams Preview Spanish Grand Prix 2011

May 20, 2011

Rubens Barrichello – Williams FW32

Rubens Barrichello, Williams
2010 Qualifying – 18th, 2010 Race – 9th

“Barcelona is a great racing track and one that people know the most. It will be interesting to see how much the other teams and drivers have developed since we were there for the final test in March. I hope that we as a team can make a good jump forward in performance with our upgrades in Barcelona. I remain positive that we will.”

Pastor Maldonado, Williams
2010 Qualifying – n/a, 2010 Race – n/a

“It is going to be a very interesting race as we’ve had more time to develop the car now so we will see what we can do in Barcelona. We have more data as we tested there over the winter, so I think that will make it slightly easier than it’s been at the previous races. I think it will be easier from my point of view as well because I’ve already driven the FW33 there. We will continue to work on the new upgrades to see what a difference they can make. I really like the circuit. I think it is one of the best as it is a very complete, technical track with a good mixture of high and low speed corners. Turn Three is probably my favourite; it is very long and fast.”

Sam Michael, Williams technical director
“Barcelona is a circuit that demands good aero efficiency. It isn’t a track that is hard on brakes and with its long high-speed corners, the aero efficiency of the cars can be the biggest performance differentiator. The circuit layout hasn’t been favourable for overtaking in the past – however with the tyre degradation and the moveable rear wing it will likely be different this year.

“Since the Turkish Grand Prix, we have been working on our new rear wings that we ran in practice at Istanbul Park and we will have them on both cars again in Barcelona. In addition to that we’ll have new exhaust-blown diffusers to test.”

Karthikeyan Looks Forward to Spanish Grand Prix 2011

May 20, 2011

Karun Chandok HRT

Narain Karthikeyan, HRT
2010 Qualifying – n/a, 2010 Race – n/a

“The Spanish Grand Prix is a home Grand Prix for the team so undoubtedly this will be a special race. Last time I raced here, in 2005, I really enjoyed the track and the atmosphere, this time round with the Hispania Racing fans in the crowd cheering us on it will be even more special. It would be a huge boost to our fans if we were to do well in Barcelona, I am hopeful that the new updates on the car will take us the next step in a positive direction. The support from the fans is nice but we still need to work as hard as ever to have a good weekend, there are no shortcuts to that.”

“I’ve done many laps here over the past few years, especially in pre-season testing this year where we drove mostly in wet conditions with the 2010 car, so I know the track very well. It’s one of my favourite circuits as it’s quite technical and very challenging for both car and driver. The engineers have a lot of experience at this circuit so they will be able to start us off with a good baseline setup but we still have a lot of work to do to get the ideal setup for the new F111 car. Even though there haven’t been many overtaking opportunities at Montmelo in the past, with the long front straight, I’m sure that the DRS will produce a lot of overtaking moves just as it has done in the last couple of races.

“We’ve still got a long way to go in terms of extracting the maximum performance from our car, but we’ve been learning and improving every weekend since Australia. It’s hard to quantify the gain in performance we will achieve with the new updates but hopefully it will take us past our nearest competitors on the track. I think the progress has been quite steady, we’ve been improving every weekend and I’m hoping that the trend continues in Barcelona.”

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