Felipe Massa had yet another run-in with Lewis Hamilton but kerbs also caused him problems in India.
|Fernando Alonso||Felipe Massa|
|Qualifying time comparison (Q3)||1’24.519 (-0.603)||1’25.122|
Ferrari drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):
|Pit stop 1||Soft 21.873s|
|Pit stop 2||Hard 21.755s|
Alonso said it was “a bit of a surprise” to find himself third on the grid, ahead of both McLarens thanks in part to Lewis Hamilton’s penalty. The team had to fix a problem with his front wing on the grid but it didn’t cause him problems in the race.
But he didn’t make his customary quick getaway, and ran wide at the first corner as he tried to draw alongisde Mark Webber, losing a place to Jenson Button.
Alonso followed Webber into the pits on lap 16 but as they came out Michael Schumacher split the pair of them. Alonso spent his out-lap behind the Mercedes, nearly losing a place to his team mate when Massa came out of the pits, then passed Schumacher the next time by in the second DRS zone.
Alonso closed on Webber quickly as the Red Bull driver’s tyres went off towards the end of the stint.
He stayed out two laps later before switching to the hard tyres, jumping ahead of Webber. There was only 1.2 seconds between them at the flag, Alonso coming out on top and taking the final podium place.
|Pit stop 1||Soft 21.848s|
|Pit stop 2||Hard 27.619s|
Massa was surprisingly fastest in the second practice session on Friday as Ferrari continued their evaluation of new parts. At times his front wing was seen flexing significantly at high speed.
But he broke one wing when he crashed at the end of Q3. Massa complained afterwards that the kerb he hit was too severe.
He got ahead of Hamilton at the start but after their first pit stops Massa made a slight mistake allowing Hamilton to close in. On lap 23 Massa covered the inside of turn five as Hamilton got a run on him.
On the next lap Hamilton tried again, Massa hanging left before moving right onto the racing line. The McLaren went down the inside, Massa turned in as usual and the pair collided once more in 2011.
Massa was able to continue without stopping for repairs. But the stewards handed him a drive-through penalty – his first of the year – for causing the collision. He served it straight away.
Despite his penalty, Massa laid blame for the collision at Hamilton’s feet: “It’s the umpteenth time that Hamilton runs into me this year and it seems it’s some sort of fatal attraction.
“In the past, I tried to talk to him but he did not seem to be interested in doing so.”
Shortly after his front wing began vibrating as it had done in practice. Ferrari responded by bringing him in to change the wing and switch him onto the hard tyres.
Ferrari said the wing Massa ran was the same as that used by Alonso, which did not move in the same way during the race.
On lap 33 Massa had a repeat of his suspension failure from qualifying. This time it was the front-left which gave way when he hit the kerb at turn nine, putting him out.
“There’s not much to say at the end of a weekend like this,” he said. “I am really unhappy that I was not able to finish a race in which I showed I had the pace to fight for the podium.”
2011 Indian Grand Prix
Image © Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo