1st August 2010
One Ferrari on the podium and the other at the foot of it: that was the outcome of the Hungarian Grand Prix for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, which saw Fernando Alonso finish second and Felipe Massa fourth. Thanks to this result, Fernando has closed the gap to the leader of the Drivers’ championship to 20 points, with Felipe back up to sixth place: in the Constructors’ classification, the Scuderia is still third, 74 points behind the first placed team.
Stefano Domenicali: “It would have been nice to dedicate a win to Lupo Montezemolo, the son of our President, but it was not possible, because, we have to admit it, this weekend, Red Bull was stronger than us, but we will definitely try again in Spa! All the same, we are very pleased to have picked up 30 points which came at the end of a race that was very closely contested from the first to the last lap. I wish to congratulate Felipe, both as a driver and as a man: he managed a very difficult race without making the slightest mistake and as a man, he proved able to tackle in the best possible way a week when he was under a lot of pressure. Fernando was extraordinary: even though his car had a lower performance level, he held off Vettel for over thirty laps, not forgetting his great start. Our aim today was to close down the gap to the leaders in both championships and that’s exactly what we did. The situation is once again more open now, but we are well aware that there is still a lot to do. The Red Bulls have always been very strong and I am sure McLaren will return to top form. We must stay focussed on our own work, always giving our utmost effort; on the track trying to exploit every opportunity while at Maranello pushing hard on the development of the F10.” Finally, our thoughts are with our young driver, Jules Bianchi, who had a serious accident in yesterday’s GP2 race: he must be strong at a difficult time like this, but he can count on the knowledge that Ferrari is there to support him.”
Fernando Alonso: “This is a very important result. Luck owed us a lot and today it made a first payment, or at least a partial one. I got a great start, first of all managing to get past Webber and then getting alongside Vettel going into the first corner, but I was not able to complete that move. Then, we did not have the speed to stay with the leader and so I had to think mainly about defending my position. When the Safety Car came in, there were a few tense moments, when it was vital not to make any mistakes, keeping my speed on the limit. After that, it was not easy fighting off Vettel for over thirty laps: his car was definitely quicker than mine, but luckily this track does not offer up any places for overtaking, apart from the first corner. Clearly, we have to improve our car if we want to be in with a chance of fighting for the title: here the Red Bulls were unbeatable and although McLaren struggled today, they will be very strong again in Spa and Monza, where there are long straights that suit their car. We will have some updates in Belgium: we hope they will allow us to close the gap to the best. It was important to finish this very tough month of July in the best way possible: the break is coming at just the right time. The final part of the championship will be very interesting, with five drivers all within 20 points.”
Felipe Massa: “This is my best result at this Grand Prix and I am happy that it comes one year after my accident. All things considered, this was a positive result. At the start, I did not have much grip, but I expected that, given I was on the dirty side of the track. Today, against rivals who were really flying we did the most we could. I think the decision to pit when the race was under the Safety Car was the right one: we could not have done the same as Webber, staying out for such a long time on the soft tyres. It’s true that with the double pit-stop, I lost a place to Hamilton, but then for once, luck was on my side and I got the place back. A week ago in Hockenheim and at the start of the season in Bahrain, we were the quickest, but apart from that, the Red Bulls have always been strongest. We have to continue to push on the development front to catch up: in four weeks times in Spa, we will see where we are compared to them. My championship definitely does not stop here: it has been a very special week for me and this has been a positive weekend for me and the team.”
Chris Dyer: “A great performance from both our drivers. Today we got a result that was definitely better than the one our car should have been capable of delivering and Felipe and Fernando both had to be perfect to bring home these 30 points. When the Safety-Car came out we immediately called in Fernando because it was the best solution, while with Felipe we also had the option to keep him out on track: he also came in and thus lost a place to Hamilton, but got it back when the Englishman retired. The soft tyres performed as expected, without really showing any real signs of degradation. However, we probably could not have done such a long stint as Webber: for us it was important to control the situation and react to what our rivals did.”