Formula One entered the second half of the season this weekend in Germany, with Scuderia Ferrari collecting valuable points thanks to a third place by Felipe Massa, behind Lewis Hamilton of Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes and Nelsinho Piquet of Renault F1 Team. Kimi Räikkönen finished in sixth place.
After the race, Lisa Lilley, Shell Technology Manager for Ferrari, commented: “Formula One is a very competitive environment, where hundredths of seconds make a huge difference. Our focus is to deliver Shell products that give the drivers maximum performance and reliability, whatever the conditions. We are happy to see that help translate into valuable points for Scuderia Ferrari today.”
Felipe Massa’s podium sees him move into second place in the FIA Formula One Drivers’ World Championship with 54 points, behind Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton on 58. Kimi Räikkönen sits in third with 51 points. Scuderia Ferrari retains its lead at the top of the Constructors’, ahead of BMW Sauber F1 Team and Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes in second and third respectively.
Hungary will host the 11th round of the Championship in Budapest on 3rd of August 2008.
Selected comments from Scuderia Ferrari after the race:
Stefano Domenicali: "This was not a good day and there’s no point denying it. Our rivals were stronger than us and we have to work out why, without however getting caught up in nebulous and superficial analysis. For the first time this season in a race, we did not have the pace we had expected to run at, with both Kimi and Felipe. We suffered constantly from a lack of grip and, in the final stages, Felipe’s brakes were also overheating which complicated still further the management of his car. The Safety Car offered us the opportunity to give it another go and all things considered, I think we made the right choice in terms of strategy, but when your pace is inadequate, it is therefore difficult to get a good result. We have to work well over the coming days to react in the right manner to return to the level we were at just two races ago."
Felipe Massa: "It was a difficult race. Right from the beginning, Hamilton’s pace seemed unbeatable and I understood that it would be very hard to beat him. I never had good grip and, in the final stages, I also had brake problems and was not even able to attack Piquet, whom I congratulate on the first podium of his career. We must try and understand why, this weekend, we have not been a match for our rivals. They have definitely improved, but I think this was more a case of us having taken a step backwards. However, we are still confident: we have the ability to get out of this situation, right from the next race.
Kimi Räikkönen: "This was definitely not the kind of race we had been hoping for. We have struggled all weekend and we have to try and understand why. Usually, our race pace is always good, but today that was not the case, because I almost always suffered with a lack of grip: only in the final stages did the situation improve a little bit, but it was never enough to be competitive. We have a test in Jerez, where we will try and improve the car so as to arrive in Budapest in better shape. This is definitely not a crisis, but we have to study carefully the handling of the car to understand if we have taken the right road in terms of development."
Luca Baldisserri: "This weekend, to be honest, we were not competitive enough to fight for the win. Again today, we did not have the speed to go up against our main rivals. When the Safety Car came out, we opted for a double pit stop and I think that was the right decisions. Then in the final stages of the race, Felipe did not have the right grip level and furthermore, he had problems with his brakes which first prevented him from attacking Piquet and then from adequately fighting off a closing Hamilton. We have to carefully study our situation to try and understand how to return to being as quick as we had been up to a short time ago."