A mixture of reliability problems and mismanagement compelled Ferrari to a poor Spanish Grand Prix result. After the mishap of Qualifying, Kimi Raikkonen expected a better race. However his hopes were dashed when Ferrari’s reliability gremlins reappeared and forced the Finn to retire.
Although Felipe Massa finished in 6th place, the Brazilian was denied a potential 4th due to a refuelling mix up at both of his pit stops. This forced the Brazilian to fuel save during the last period of the race, eventually crawling to a halt after crossing the finishing line.
Ferrari now hope to iron out all of their reliability problems and team mistakes to unlock their potential for the rest of the season.
Felipe Massa – 6th: “It’s a real shame to have lost two places in the final stages, even if we’ve finally made it to the scoreboard. We knew we couldn’t match the pace of the Brawns but we had managed to get ahead of the Red Bulls and, but for the fuel problem, I could have certainly stayed ahead of Vettel and Alonso. The final part of the race was a pain.
“I was already struggling on the harder tyres and then I had to try and save fuel as much as possible, while at the same time staying ahead of Vettel. Then the team told that if I wanted to make it to the finish, I would have to let Vettel by and slow down a lot: if I had made another pit stop I would have finished out of the points. Today, the car’s pace on the softer tyre was reasonably good, even if we’re still lacking a few tenths, but at least we are back to fighting for the top places.”
Kimi Raikkonen – DNF: “I am very unhappy because I could have finished in the points. Unfortunately, I had a hydraulic problem linked to the control of the accelerator which meant I had to retire. At the start I managed to make up a few places but then, I found myself behind Heidfeld’s BMW. T
“he car is better, but we must fix these reliability problems. Obviously, when you have to make up ground you can end up making avoidable errors, as has happened to us in this first part of the season, but that doesn’t mean to say the team has lost its way. We are the same people who over the past two years have won three world titles out of the four available.”
Stefano Domenicali: “We can take some satisfaction from this weekend, but at the same time, it has thrown up further concerns. On the one hand we saw that the effort expended in recent weeks has born fruit in terms of improving the performance level of the car. Both in yesterday’s qualifying and today, Felipe was competitive at the highest level, as was confirmed on the clock: it’s not by luck that we got the third fastest time in the race, which would have been far out of our reach in previous races this year. Once again, the downside comes from the reliability side.
“Again today, we had problems which forced Kimi to retire and cost Felipe two places in the final stages, having also robbed him of the chance of getting to the podium, which would have been well deserved. This is unacceptable for a team like Ferrari: we must all react to get back to our usual standard, as indeed we have partially managed on the performance side. There is much to do on all fronts and we will tackle it with our usual absolute determination.”
Chris Dyer: “The most important thing this weekend is that the car performance is much improved compared to the previous races. Today we were capable of fighting with the best and we had a great chance of finishing on the podium. On the downside, we can only be disappointed about our reliability and the running of our on-track operation.
“After what happened in qualifying yesterday, Kimi had to retire because of a problem with the hydraulics used to control the accelerator. On Felipe’s car, the front left wheel fairing broke and at both pit stops we had a refueling problem, the cause of which we have yet to find out. Obviously, we have a lot of work to do. We are all very unhappy for what happened and lament the fact that so much work from the team to improve car performance was not adequately rewarded in the final result.”