Despite bringing upgrades to the Canadian Grand Prix, the pace of the Scuderia Ferrari team was still not a match for the teams up front. Spaniard Fernando Alonso finished sixth at the chequered flag and took eight World Championship points, while Finn Kimi Raikkonen took tenth and the final point on offer.
Alonso inherited sixth on the final lap in Montreal after Felipe Massa and Sergio Perez’s crash, but felt the points he picked up were more from luck than anything else. The Spaniard unusually lost a place at the start to the Toro Rosso of Jean-Eric Vergne, but the pace of the car condemned him to a race of being unable to overtake anyone.
“Looking at the wild final stages of the race, today we picked up some “lucky” points, but we still can’t be happy with where we finished as our aim was to do better than this,” said Alonso. “In the beginning, my pace wasn’t good and I wasn’t happy with the balance of my car. Then in the second stint, when the track began to improve, we found a good rhythm and we managed to catch the group in front.
“We weren’t quick enough to join the fight. What Red Bull did in the race shows how quickly things can change in Formula 1 and that should be further motivation for us to get to a point where we can fight for the win. This weekend, we have made some steps forward, especially on the aerodynamic front, but the others have also improved and now, all we can do is carry on working to be as well prepared as possible for the forthcoming races.”
Team-mate Raikkonen had a fraught race in Canada. He started and finished in tenth position, but also struggled to overtake on track. He was stuck behind the second Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat for a long time, and later spun exiting the hairpin that lost him valuable time and track position. Like Alonso, he lucked into the points after Massa and Perez’s accident.
“We knew this would not be an easy race, because on this track, we were not fast enough down the straights and we had some problems in the slow corners,” said Raikkonen. “On top of that, today I never had a clear track ahead of me, for one reason or another I was always stuck behind other cars.
“In the beginning I had some problems with the brakes and the handling of my car wasn’t consistent. Then, after a few laps the tyres behaved better, but still with highs and lows. For a lot of laps, I was stuck behind Kvyat’s Toro Rosso and this cost me precious time.
“Even if at the moment, nothing seems to be going right for us, the new development package has given us more potential and now we must just try and find more consistency.”
Technical Director Pat Fry feels the upgrades on the two cars did show an improvement but this did not show in the results. He admitted it was almost impossible to overtake around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. He insists the development of the F14 T will continue as they aim for race wins in 2014.
“Tyre degradation had a significant effect on today’s race as did, in more general terms, everything linked to parameters affected by temperature, as it was as expected, very hot,” said Fry. “The start wasn’t easy, because we were starting from far back and here, it’s almost impossible to overtake. The Safety Car coming out on the opening lap reduced the effect of fuel consumption and then in the second stint, on a clean track, the pace improved, but even so, it was difficult to make up places.
“Fernando’s first stop saw him get ahead of Vergne in the Toro Rosso, while Kimi lost time behind Kvyat, but in the end, he managed to get past. In the final stint, the group ahead closed up and our pace was very good with Fernando, but it was almost impossible to overtake.
“We brought some improvements to the F14 T and even though this track did not produce the results we expected, we will continue to work on the development of the car and on this front our approach will not change for the coming races.”
Team Principal Marco Mattiacci was understandably disappointed about the results in Montreal on a track that did not suit the F14 T’s strengths, but declared the team have no intention of giving up developing the car.
“We are very angry with ourselves, but we have no intention of giving up,” said Mattiacci. “The Canadian circuit definitely didn’t suit us, given that it highlighted the strong points of some of our competitors and, on top of that, not everything went right either, given that we started from too far back and the others improved more than we did.
“On the positive side of this weekend, everyone wants to fight back, starting with our drivers, Kimi and Fernando, who are both extremely tenacious guys, competent and competitive and they know how to work as a team to point us in the direction of the areas that are a priority in our development programme. Some updates produced good results on track and that’s why we will continue down this path race by race”.