Ferrari rubs race win in McLaren’s face

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I guess there is a slight, miniscule chance that we all are just dying to know how Ferrari pulled off that quick pitstop, which effectively won Monza for Fernando Alonso.

I guess? Of course, since Red Bull later was even faster with Sebastian Vettel’s last-second stop, I’m going to go with Option B:

Ferrari sees a moment to rub the crew’s role in capturing Monza in McLaren’s face.

On the American broadcast of the race, there was a bit of talk about how McLaren and Ferrari’s management is getting along as well as it has in a long time, if not ever. But the Speed trio were quick to note that did not mean the two teams are not still fighting as hard as they can on the track.

I think Ferrari’s most recent web site update falls somewhere in the middle. Here are some excerpts, but check it out for the full effect:

The secrets of that pit stop

Maranello, 13 September – More than ever before, on this occasion, Formula 1 really proved to be a team sport. Fernando Alonso’s win was not just down to his abilities as a driver and the fact his car was competitive. It was also, or more accurately, especially, down to the work of the team during his pit stop.

Fernando himself acknowledged the fact immediately after the race, when he commented that he was surprised at how quickly the guys changed the wheels. 3.4 seconds was the time it took for the sixteen personnel involved in the operation – two on the jacks, front and rear, one on the lights, one watching the traffic in pit lane, three men per wheel – to send Fernando back on track. That’s a great time, under the average so far for the Ferrari crew (3”7) but not as good as their best in a race, which happened at the Canadian Grand Prix, when the pit stop was completed in 3”3, which at the time, allowed Fernando to get ahead of Hamilton, who had stopped on the same lap.

[snip]

All well and good, but what the fans will remember is the images of what the mechanics in the red suits did yesterday afternoon in the Monza pit lane. Let’s take a closer look at the detail of the procedure, tenth by tenth, starting from the moment Fernando stopped his F10 in the pit lane, millimetre perfect on the specified mark:

+0”35: car lifted up by the two jack men

+0.70: wheels with the soft tyres come off

+1.40: wheels with the hard tyres in position

+2”30: first wheel locked on and arm up to confirm

+2”60: second wheel locked on

+2”70: third wheel locked on

+2”90: fourth wheel locked on

+3”40: car on the ground and green light

Did you catch that great jab at the whole “team orders” controversy? Ferrari’s communications/media people are really on top of things. I think Todd might have to re-name the Matt Bishop award.

What really makes this post feel like a bit of kicking sand in McLaren’s face is how long it is. This is a pretty beefy post for Ferrari, if my memory serves. It feels like they are going out of their way to highlight everything they can. I’m amazed they didn’t name all their engineers.

All in all, I love it. A little gamesmenship, a little something to spice up the battle — if it even needs that. What really made Monza such a great race, above and beyond Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button’s putting every wheel right while waiting for the other to make a mistake, was that it was McLaren versus Ferrari. And just about as evenly matched as two teams in F1 could get.

And now Ferrari has tossed a playful (is it?) bit of flair into the mix.

Love. It.

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