The Scuderia have started the weekend off in the best possible way; Fernando Alonso on pole. Alonso set a best time of 1.21.962, ahead of Jenson Button in the McLaren (1.22.084) and Felipe Massa third in the second F10 in 1.22.293. With his teammate on his tail, Alonso is looking to launch Ferrari’s serious bid for title contention this weekend at the team home grand prix. The big question is, can they do it?
The team have had more than their fair share of cock up’s in recent months and have left me contemplating the tactical and strategic abilities of team management. Alonso has done the best he could by placing the car on pole but there is an entire race to get things wrong and lately, Ferrari seem to be able to find that “wrong” more often than not.
Ferrari will have to keep the McLaren’s of Button and Hamilton at bay and with the typical starts that Hamilton has, this will be no easy task. Button, equally, looks good and Massa is sitting in the pivotal seat of support role and could have a big impact on the race for his teammate…can you confirm you understood that message?
If Alonso can get a great start, he may have a real chance to stay out front but I can’t help but think the McLaren’s are going to be dangerous over the long run and this is where Massa can play a pivotal part. If the Brazilian can hold Button and Hamilton back and keep them off Alonso’s tail, this may just end up a terrific Ferrari victory for the home team. If not, Ferrari may want to start focusing on next years car because the remaining tracks look to be the play ground of Adrian Newey’s Red Bull cars. This is a crucial race for Ferrari and in my mind, it signals the last effort to make a run at the title and stay in the hunt. If they fail to capitalize tomorrow, I fear their year of over.