After showing strong pace during free practice, the Scuderia Ferrari team were less impressive during the qualifying session for the Italian Grand Prix, with Fernando Alonso starting the race at Monza seventh and Kimi Raikkonen eleventh.
Technical Director Pat Fry admitted the team experience some difficulties during the three-part qualifying session with the balance of the car, but gave praise to Alonso for what Fry believes was the best result possible.
“Compared to the morning session, we experienced a few more difficulties in qualifying, in terms of the balance of the car, especially in the fast corners and under braking, areas that are more complicated to manage on a track where you run low downforce,” said Fry. “I don’t think Fernando could have done any more with his car. With the race pace we saw in Friday’s practice, let’s hope that tomorrow he can make up a few places and manage the Red Bulls behind him.”
Whereas Alonso made it into Q3, team-mate Raikkonen was less fortunate, and Fry was disappointed to see the Finnish driver have some issues with locking his front wheels during the session that ultimately resulted in him qualifying twelfth, which will become eleventh after the Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat takes his engine change penalty.
“Unfortunately, with Kimi, we didn’t make it to Q3, which is a real shame after what had been his first trouble-free free practice sessions of the season,” said Fry. “Today he suffered a lot with locking the front wheels and at the vital moment in Q2, he lost time going into Roggia.”
Fry insists the aim of the team in Monza is just to score as many points as possible, but does not expect tyre wear to be an issue; he just hopes the car can be reliable until the chequered flag.
“With both compounds we experienced reasonably linear degradation, so even with the high temperatures expected tomorrow, it should not influence our strategy,” insisted Fry. “If we want to score as many points as possible with both cars in the race, it will be important to manage the reliability parameter and try and get a good start.”