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Brave race in Singapore: Alonso consolidates his second place
23 Sep 2013
Scuderia Ferrari

Scuderia Ferrari finished the Singapore Grand Prix in second place with Fernando Alonso and sixth with Felipe Massa. The Spaniard thus consolidates his second place in the Drivers’ classification, with 187 points. The Scuderia picked up more points than any other team tonight, strengthening its second place in the Constructors’ championship.

Many believe Fernando Alonso is being fanciful when he says the Drivers’ championship is not decided yet. However, one has to admire his determination after yesterday’s incredible drive to second place under the spotlights at Marina Bay. Felipe Massa also delivered a strong performance, taking the chequered flag in the same sixth place from which he started the race. Fernando’s race featured two tyre changes, the Brazilian’s three. The Spanish Ferrari driver also talked about being realistic earlier this weekend and sure enough, the need for realism took its usual form, as Sebastian Vettel was simply on a different planet taking another well-deserved victory for Red Bull. Joining them on the podium, having struggled with back pain for much of the weekend, was Kimi Raikkonen in the Lotus.

Both Ferrari men started on the Supersoft tyres and, as the lights went out, Alonso got a great start, making up four places to lie third at the first chicane. Massa dropped one place to his team-mate, but passed Hamilton in the Mercedes to retain sixth.

Felipe pitted on lap 12 to fit Medium tyres, with Fernando doing the same two laps later. The Safety Car came out on lap 25 and both Ferrari men pitted for their second stop, the Spaniard again fitting Mediums, the Brazilian switching back to Supersoft. Massa made his third and final tyre change on lap 42, fitting Mediums for the final stint. However, Alonso stayed out, doing no less than 36 laps on the same tyres. It allowed the Spaniard to stay second, crossing the line behind the winner, Sebastian Vettel and ahead of third placed Kimi Raikkonen.

The final stages witnessed a great climb up the order for Felipe Massa. Having dropped to fourteenth after his final stop, he worked his way up all the way back to sixth place at the flag.

Fernando Alonso said: “Today’s second place is like a victory for us, at the end of a difficult weekend on a track where it’s very tricky to overtake. The key points of this race were the start and the strategy and, in both cases, the decisions taken proved to be the right ones, even if they were aggressive choices. At the start, I managed to pass four cars, helped by having watched the starts from previous races here, but then I couldn’t pass Rosberg. The decision to pit when the Safety Car came out paid off, even if it wasn’t easy to get to the finish with the tyres on the limit. Fortunately, thanks to the advantage I had over Raikkonen and Webber, we were able to manage the situation over the final laps: if I’d been in a group, it would have been like the end of a horror movie! Now the gap to the championship leaders has increased and apart from congratulating them, because they deserve to be where they are, we must be realistic, because to win the title now, we would need a lot of luck. Sure, we cannot think of giving up right now because if that luck does show up, then we will be there to take it”.

Felipe Massa said: “Given everything that happened in today’s race, sixth place is a really good result. After a fantastic start, at the first corner I found myself stuck inside the cars that had braked early and, at that point I lost places instead of making up some. From then on, I was always stuck behind other cars and we all know how hard it is to overtake at this track. When the Safety Car came out, we had two options: to fit the Medium tyres, with which we weren’t sure to go all the way to the end, or the Supersofts, to try and regain some places. We went for the second option, but Di Resta was ahead of me on the same tyres and so I was stuck behind him. In the final stint after the third stop, I managed to retake sixth place, making the most of the fact that many were struggling with their tyres. It was tough from start to finish and I am very happy to have brought home a good points haul”.