Ferrari’s take on Silverstone? ‘Best result of the season’

Ferrari seems to be trying to make lemonade out of lemons today.

Rather than stewing over Fernando Alonso’s losing out so dramatically to Red Bull’s Mark Webber, the team is touting its “best result of the season” — and that’s thanks in large part to Felipe Massa’s coming through.

With due apologies, I can’t help feeling like it begs the question: Is the team protesting too much and covering up for what should have been an even better Sunday?

Here’s how the team sums things up in a presser at its website:

Ten minutes with a slightly bitter taste in the mouth, an hour to appreciate the worth of the best result of the season, a day to look ahead, knowing one can count on a solid base. That pretty much sums up the state of mind within Scuderia Ferrari over the last 24 hours, following on from a British Grand Prix that saw the Reds in the role of front runners throughout.

We then get a chunk of thinking from Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo:

“Yesterday’s result is very important and comes after a wonderful pole the previous day,” said President Luca di Montezemolo, speaking to www.ferrari.com. “In this recent phase of the championship, we have shown that we are competitive whatever the conditions and on all types of track. If I think back to the start of the year, we have made enormous progress, but now we must continue to keep our heads down and work hard, because we still do not have the best car. We are Ferrari and our only aim has to be to have the quickest car of all on track.”

Montezemolo had words of praise for both drivers: “Fernando drove a great race after a great qualifying, putting a Ferrari on pole for the first time in a long time and I am also very pleased to have seen that Felipe was very quick, fighting hard and consistently throughout the weekend. It was very important for him and for us, because it is partly due to the points he scored that we have moved up to second in the Constructors’ classification.”

“I am proud of the work done so far by the people at Ferrari,” he concluded. “But I will be even more so for what I am sure we will be able to achieve in the rest of the season.”

Ferrari’s initial assessment of the race (back on Sunday) was pretty similar:

An imaginative tyre strategy, running two long stints on the Prime, before switching to the Option at the end, almost saw Fernando Alonso win the British Grand Prix, but in the end he had to settle for second place, behind the faster Red Bull of Mark Webber, who chased him down with seven laps remaining. Felipe Massa, running a more conventional strategy, starting on the softer tyre and doing the final two stints on the harder Pirelli looked to be heading for his first podium of the season, but lost out in the pit stops to Sebastian Vettel, in the other Red Bull, who stood on the bottom step of the podium. The Spaniard still leads the Drivers’ classification although today’s winner has cut the Ferrari man’s advantage to 13 points. The two men who head the classification are the only ones to have won two Grands Prix this season. Felipe is gradually hauling his way up the order and is 13th, while the Scuderia has leapt from fourth to second in the Constructors.’

I’m wondering how you might be feeling if you were in any of the key Scuderia’s shoes? Does the reaction seem measured and smart to you — meaning, it sets the team up for continued success in the races ahead? Or do you think Ferrari might be hiding some more serious concern and perhaps personnel problems given that, maybe, we should be talking about Ferrari’s finishing first and third at Silverstone?

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