11 July 2011
Post-race press conference - British GP - Pt.1
Drivers: Fernando Alonso (Ferrari), Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull), Mark Webber (Red Bull)
Fernando, the first win of the season for you and Ferrari. You were gifted the lead by Red Bull but do you feel you forced the mistake today?
Well I don't know. It is difficult to know. I saw the problem in the pit-stop with Sebastian and we were in the lead at that moment. I didn't know as I was also fighting with [Lewis] Hamilton and with Mark and I left the pits and I found myself leading the race and then pulling a good gap. You never know. The race was in different conditions. We started with a very wet part of the circuit and then it was a little bit dry, but still with intermediate tyres. Then the intermediates were struggling a little and we were very quick at that part of the race and then with the dry tyres it was again the same thing. Very slow at the beginning when the track was damp and very quick when the track was dry so I knew that it was a race to be calm, to put the car on the track always, no mistakes, not being off the track at any moment as the grass is very wet and with no mistakes I knew the car had enough pace to fight for the victory. At the end it came.
It was a great battle with Hamilton. Tell us about the pass and the re-pass.
Well he overtook me quite easy. When we fitted the dry tyres he was very, very quick at that part of the race so we were forced to stay calm. We knew that our opportunity would be later in the race and when I overtook him again it was thanks to the DRS and the KERS and all these possibilities we have these days. Then we attacked the Red Bulls as from now it will always be the same thing. Every race we try to do like the final. Championship hopes are very difficult because Sebastian keeps finishing all the races first and second so the only thing we can do is try to win every race we go to and be very aggressive. Every race, every start, every strategy will be at the maximum.
Sebastian, the pit-stop cost you the lead but were Ferrari on to you today? What do you think?
I think it is hard to say how much we lost but surely we lost the lead. I think we had quite a bit of a cushion at that stage so it didn't help. I came out behind Fernando and Lewis and struggled to get past really. I had some places where I was quite close to him but it didn't quite work so we went in for the stop and I had a longer stint at the end. But all in all we had a very good race. It was very difficult in these conditions. I had a brilliant start and was able to pull away quite good at the beginning of the race on intermediate tyres. Then I think we waited a little bit and we weren't that aggressive which cost us a bit of our lead plus then the pit-stop so little mistakes here and there. But you cannot get it right all the time and you have to accept Ferrari beat us fair and square today. It was not only in this race, I think there has been a certain trend over the last couple of races. They have been very strong on race day on Sunday and generally improving their car so it shows us we need to keep on working very hard and keep pushing very hard so soon it is the other way around again.
You were very, very close to the back of Lewis going into Copse at one point weren't you?
Yeah, I was. I thought it was the only place where I could try something. On that lap I think I had too good an exit so got off the corner very well and was too close. I was sitting behind and in that right kink where the old pit building is you cannot do anything there so I was too close to use my momentum later on. I had to lift and I don't think there was much left. We don't see the front wing but it was very close but good fun.
Mark, you lost the start to Sebastian but what happened at the end? You seemed to be closing on him, but you couldn't get past him.
Well it was a mixed race as the guys touched on. It was very, very slippery and tricky at the start with the inters. Half the track dry and half the track wet. It made it very frustrating as all of us had to stay out on the inters for longer than we would have liked as we had to wait for slicks to come into play at that part of the track. Michael (Schumacher) pitted first then we waited to hear on his pace on the slicks. Then, when he started to go okay we elected to stop. Just before, on the in-lap, I had a massive moment in Becketts so Fernando closed a bit on me. I went across the grass as I came in so bit scrappy there. Then we had an interesting race after that. I felt very strong at the start of the stints, not too strong at the end of the stints, and then both Seb and I were in big trouble with the tyres at the end. I tried to pass him but not quite so that was the race.
Are you surprised at how tough a battle you have been given here this weekend by McLaren and Ferrari?
Not really. I think Ferrari we have seen, in the last few events, going pretty well. You never, never know. Sundays are always difficult. It is always about the tyres as you know. McLaren looked absolutely in trouble yesterday and then today they weren't too bad at all. Very quick and they did a clean job in the pit-lane. I didn't think we had the best day in the box today. It is not normal for our guys but you cannot be perfect all the time. That was it.
Fernando, describe both the emotion and the satisfaction this win gives you today.
It is a very special win. I think Silverstone is a special event for every driver competing in Formula One. We know the history of motorsport here in the UK so it is special grand prix. Also today I had the privilege to drive the Jose [Froilan Gonzalez]'s car. It was the first Ferrari win in Formula One and this year it is 60 years ago that one Ferrari car won the first grand prix in Formula One. Today we won on the same circuit with the same passion, with the same group of people, working for this fantastic team. Every year competing in Formula One right from the beginning so this is the big thing about Ferrari. The passion, the victory and the love for competition so very happy to drive this car and achieve this success again.
Fernando, what a way to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Ferrari's first win. Ideal way wasn't it?
Click on relevant pic to enlarge
the conversation - Add your comment
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