The Ferrari Owners’ Club
of Great Britain

GRAND PRIX: Spain : Another Painful Day for the Scuderia


(with thanks to Ferrari Media for the info)

Scuderia Ferrari’s F14Ts qualified for the  Spanish Grand Prix at the Catalunya circuit in the third and fourth rows. Kimi Raikkonen was sixth fastest in 1.27.104,beating team-mate Fernando Alonso by just 36 thousandths. It was a complicated, difficult session for the Scuderia. Raikkonen got through to Q2 with 16th and last place in Q1 and then Alonso suffered the same fate, getting through to the top-ten shoot-out in tenth place.

Once again, Lewis Hamilton was on pole, taking his fourth of the season and the 35th of his career. He beat his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg by just two thousandths. The second row featured Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull and Valtteri Bottas in the Williams. Joining Kimi on row 3 was a surprise in the shape of Frenchman Romain Grosjean in the Lotus, while Alonso has Jenson Button in the McLaren for company on row 4.

It was a difficult Grand Prix for Ferrari. While running different tyre strategies, neither Fernando Alonso nor Kimi Raikkonen managed to deliver a great result. In the closing stages, the Spaniard managed to pass the Finn, but they were only fighting for sixth place.

The Scuderia leaves Spain knowing it will take plenty of work to at least reach its short term goal, which is to be the best team after Mercedes. Once again the Anglo-German team was dominant, with Lewis Hamilton taking his 26th win, while it was number 18 for Mercedes. Just six tenths down in second was his team-mate Nico Rosberg. The Englishman now leads the championship.

Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel were third and fourth for Red Bull, with Valtteri Bottas fifth for Williams, ahead of the two Ferraris. The next round is the Monaco Grand Prix on 25 May.

Fernando Alonso: “Of course I’d have liked to have done better here in my home race, but I knew right from the start that it would be difficult. Our pace was too slow compared to the leaders and on top of that, not making up any places at the start didn’t help. The decision to go for a three stop strategy was taken in an attempt to cover Vettel, but unfortunately I lost the place at the pit stop and I only managed to make up one on Kimi, who was impossible to pass when we were on the same tyres. In the two weeks to go to the Monaco Grand Prix, we will continue to work day and night: we definitely can’t expect to have a new car, because you can’t achieve a revolution in such a short space of time, but we will do our very best to improve in all areas.”

Kimi Raikkonen: “That was a complicated race for me, with the main problem being a lack of grip and in general, it was very difficult to find the right balance on the car. Going for a two stop strategy proved to be the wrong choice because tyre degradation meant I couldn’t push all the way to the end. We cannot be happy with sixth and seventh places, because we are a long way off where we want to be.”

Pat Fry: “This weekend, which was difficult for the team and the drivers ended with a less than spectacular race in which we unfortunately lacked the pace to make up places from our grid positions. Considering how difficult it is to overtake at this track, the start could have made the difference, but the positions remained more or less the same throughout the order. If fuel consumption wasn’t much of a problem, tyre degradation affected the race from start to finish. Apart from the two Mercedes, the lap times of the various teams were very similar, which meant the chances of being able to carry out or be subjected to an undercut, along with managing the traffic, took priority over the strategy choices.”