Ferrari Suffer Frustrating Home Weekend at Monza

The Scuderia Ferrari team had a disappointing race in front of their home fans at Monza, with Kimi Raikkonen finishing down in ninth while Fernando Alonso retired for the first time due to a mechanical failure since his days with the Renault team back in 2009.

Raikkonen was happy with how his car felt to drive but was frustrated with the lack of straight-line speed and the grip levels during the race. He finished tenth on the road but inherited ninth once the five second penalty for Kevin Magnussen was applied, and the Finn is hopeful of better results on tracks he believes will suit the Ferrari far better.

“We knew this would be a difficult weekend and today in the race, we saw the proof of that,” said Raikkonen. “Overall, I was happy with the handling of the car and the balance was good, but we lacked speed down the straight and I didn’t have much grip. As soon as I got close to the cars ahead of me, I lost aerodynamic downforce and the car was sliding all over the place.

“I think I did the most I could today, even if unfortunately I was unable to get the result I would have wanted for our home race, for the team and all our fans. Now we must think of the upcoming races and continue to work nonstop, because we are coming up to tracks that should better suit the characteristics of our car”

For the first time as a Ferrari driver, Alonso found himself retiring from a race due to a mechanical failure, and the Spaniard was disappointed that the retirement was in front of the Tifosi. He felt he could have challenged for a good haul of points in the race, as he was conserving his tyres so to make a late race charge, much like that of Daniel Ricciardo, who climbed a number of places in the latter stages of the race in his Red Bull on a similar strategy.

“After a long run of trouble-free races, it’s a real shame I had to retire just here in Monza, in front of all our fans,” said Alonso. “I would have liked to have put on a very different race for them. In the first stint we were competitive, but when you find yourself in a group of cars where everyone is using DRS, overtaking becomes nearly impossible.

“After the pit stop, I found myself at the back of a train of cars and at that point we changed the strategy, deciding to drop back from the group to conserve the tyres and try and attack at the end of the race. But then came the problem with the ERS system. It’s never nice for the team to have a reliability problem, because the guys work night and day to give us the best car possible. What happened doesn’t change my will to win and in order to try and have that happen soon, we will continue to work as hard as we can, always giving our all.”