Fernando Alonso took a 'very special win' at the F1 2011 British Grand Prix today for Ferrari, ending a barren spell that has seen the Scuderia go without a win for ten races.
Alonso put in a stellar performance at Silverstone and eventually beat runaway championship leader Sebastian Vettel by 16.5 seconds to prove the Scuderia is making real progress.
It was his second win at the Northamptonshire-circuit and his 27th F1 win in total, which puts him level with Jackie Stewart in fifth place in the list of all-time winners. Fittingly it also came at the very same track where, sixty years ago, José Froilan Gonzalez took Ferrari's first ever victory.
“What a wonderful surprise! The team did an amazing job and I dedicate this win to everyone at Maranello and at the track, whose work has allowed me and Felipe [Massa] to drive such a good car,” Alonso said.
“It is a very special win because it comes at a legendary track like Silverstone, in front of a crowd that is so enthusiastic about cars.
“Also, the track characteristics were not really suited to our car, but clearly, the improvements we brought here helped a lot.
“At the start, it was not easy to drive because parts of the circuit were very wet and others were only damp in parts. There were some tricky moments, like when [Lewis] Hamilton overtook me, but we stayed very calm all the time, convinced we could get something out of it. I only realised I could win when I came back out on track after the final pit stop.
“Clearly the problem at [Sebastian] Vettel's stop helped, as did the fact that, for a long time, Hamilton kept the two Red Bulls behind him, but I have to say that in the dry we were very strong.
“Earlier today, I had the privilege to drive the 375 F1 and then, a few hours later, to win the same race for Ferrari sixty years later.
“In our team, there are children of people who worked for the Scuderia back then and they have the same love and passion for racing as there was back then. We head for Germany with our morale up and with more self confidence.
“The Red Bull is still the strongest car, but the improvements we are introducing are working. When we were struggling at the start of the season, we did not get downhearted, but instead we reacted: now we have reaped the rewards,” concluded the Spaniard.