The last working days were extremely intense: it's never easy to prepare yourself in the best possible way when you have such little time available between one Grand Prix and the next. From Barcelona to the Principality of Monaco we went from one reality to another, with a fascinating race with particular characteristics ahead. The whole Team gave it their all and during the free practice sessions it was possible to see the fruits of their labour, also thanks to this street circuit's unique characteristics, unique in its own way, helped by the new compounds brought here to Monte Carlo. Alonso as well as Massa drove respectable lap times. A result of good performance, especially Saturday morning, when Fernando concluded the practice in first position and Felipe in third. These are hopeful signs for tomorrow's race, where our drivers will start from fourth and sixth position, after a challenging qualifying, marred by the accident of Sergio Perez, causing a long interruption. After the initial scare luckily the news regarding the Mexican driver's condition were comforting. Unfortunately the red flag, 2’26” before the end of Q3, somehow damaged our plans. Nevertheless the basis for a good race tomorrow is there and we'll fight right until the end for the top spots.
Intense weeks in Maranello with the entire team giving it all to bring the necessary improvements to the track of Montmelò to enhance the Ferrari 150° Italia’s performance. But also the other teams did they homework, inventing novelties. The result? A small step forward, but we still have to improve to close the gap to Red Bull, the team, which even on this track in the qualifying, drove the fastest lap time.
That Fernando Alonso is a great driver is no secret. That’s why his contract has been extended a couple of days ago and the Spanish driver will stay with the Scuderia until the end of 2016. But today he showed again how strong he is, with an excellent lap time in Q3, which enabled him to start from the second row into tomorrow’s race. A third place on the grid, for the first time this season. At the end of the qualifying Fernando was without words to explain the feelings he had after an almost perfect lap.
Meanwhile Felipe had some minor problems while looking for the right set up over the last days. Therefore the driver from Sao Paulo will start from eighth position into tomorrow’s race.
Tyres and overtaking: these are the dominating issues regarding tomorrow’s race. We’re expecting extreme wear with a huge difference in performance levels regarding soft and hard compound. It will be fundamental to make the right choice when to let the cars come back to the box to change the tyres. We’ve always seen challenging races here on this track with hardly any overtaking: and with the new rules it won’t be the case that we’ll see a boring procession here tomorrow.
The weather conditions of this weekend in Turkey have been unpredictable, with heavy rain on Friday and hot sun during the qualifying: quite some test! Several novelties have been introduced on the single-seater and the results have been more satisfactory than the fifth and the tenth positions, conquered by our drivers, would let you expect. In fact despite the problems with Alonso’s car and the mistake, which prevented Felipe to set a time in Q3, the Ferrari 150° Italia’s performance gives some hope for the race in Istanbul. The goal is to improve the results obtained so far, considering also Felipe’s good results on this track in past editions - three victories so far – and Fernando’s good performance in qualifying. Improvements have been made since the race in Sepang and we’re continuing with our progress after three weeks of hard work in Maranello. The competition is fierce and all teams have been working a lot during the break, but all the members of the Scuderia Ferrari are extremely faithful. Now let’s wait for the green lights on Sunday!