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    Archive for February 2013

    FERNANDO BOWS OUT ON TOP

    Circuit: Catalunya Circuit, Montmelo – 4.655 km
    Driver: Fernando Alonso
    Car: Ferrari F138
    Weather: air temperature 8/15°C, track temperature 9/18 °C. Cloudy.

    Montmelo, 21 February – Third day of testing for Scuderia Ferrari at the Catalunya circuit, on the outskirts of Barcelona, and Fernando Alonso’s last day at the wheel of the F138. The Spaniard will be back on track here next week for the final pre-season test session.

    The team’s work programme was completed without any problems and it included set-up work aimed at adapting to the Soft tyres, which Fernando was trying for the first time this year and the Hards. Fernando covered a total of 97 laps, the quickest in a time of 1.21.875.

    Fernando Alonso: “Today we concentrated on a comparison of the compounds, starting with the Soft and moving on to the Hard in the afternoon. The track was colder than yesterday, especially in the morning, which made it harder to adapt the car and find the right grip level. We tried various aerodynamic configurations and for the first time, we made some set-up changes to get a good understanding of tyre behaviour and degradation. With every change we made, the car reacted as I expected and it was useful to try out the different settings, especially to understand which direction we need to go in next week, when there will be a greater emphasis on performance. Once again this year, the tyres will be one of the crucial aspects to manage: they are softer and quicker, but also less consistent and they degrade rapidly with every lap. We will have a lot of work to do to understand how best to balance the car, but that applies to all the teams.”

    Testing continues tomorrow at this circuit, when Felipe Massa will be on track.

    TESTING IN BARCELONA: OVER 500 KMS FOR ALONSO ON HIS DEBUT

    Circuit: Catalunya Circuit, Montmelo – 4.655 km
    Driver: Fernando Alonso
    Car: Ferrari F138
    Weather: air temperature 13/17°C, track temperature 13/28 °C. Cloudy in the morning, then sunny in the afternoon.

    First day of testing for Scuderia Ferrari and the ten other Formula 1 teams, running at the Catalunya circuit, on the outskirts of Barcelona, from now until Friday. Fernando Alonso made his seasonal track debut, driving the F138 for the first time.

    The entire day was dedicated almost entirely to acquiring data for use in the development of the car and on gaining a greater understanding of the Pirelli tyres. Fernando completed a total of 110 laps, with a best time of 1.19.952.

    Fernando Alonso: “I feel reasonably pleased with this first day and I can say I share Felipe’s opinion that the car is on another planet compared to the one we began with on the first day of testing last year. The programme for this first session in Barcelona is aimed mainly at improving reliability, with the target of completing more than a hundred laps every day. Then, at next week’s test we can concentrate on performance. Tomorrow, we will complete what we were unable to do today and we will focus on car set-up, to adapt it as well as possible to the tyres. I knew from looking at the Jerez data what sort of car I would find here today, as in fact we know more or less what we will see at the first race in Australia, in terms of what new parts we will have and how many tenths they will produce. This is down to all the work done over the winter in the wind tunnel and the numerous tests which confirm that the parts that are on their way will give the expected results.”

    Testing continues tomorrow at this track, again with the Spaniard at the wheel.

    Tremendo entrenamiento subiendo la montaña. 3:20h

    FERNANDO ALONSO, AMBASSADOR OF THE SPAIN BRAND

    One of Fernando Alonso’s biggest prides when travelling around the world as a
    Formula 1 driver has always been to represent, besides the team he is competing
    for, the country he comes from. The flags of Spain and his beloved Asturias have
    been present on his helmet since he took his first steps in the world of motorsport,
    when he combined school and karting, with the dream of making it one day to the
    pinnacle of motorsport: Formula 1.

    Fernando holds two World Championships in the top category of motorsport along
    with various karting championships and those of other categories that he passed
    through before taking the step into Formula 1 in 2001. However there are other
    acknowledgements that the Ferrari driver has received throughout his career that
    he is very proud of. In 2005, just before winning his first World Championship,
    Fernando had the honour of receiving the Príncipe de Asturias award for sports and
    today he has been named honorary ambassador of the “Spain Brand” in front of the
    same cast as eight years ago: the Princes of Asturias.

    In an act which took place this morning at the Banco Santander’s Financial City, in
    Madrid, Fernando was awarded an accreditation which publicly acknowledges
    those persons, enterprises or institutions who have contributed the most throughout
    their professional trajectory to strengthening the image of Spain abroad. Through
    this award the Foro de Marcas Renombradas Españolas (Forum of Renowned
    Spanish Brands), FMRE, has also acknowledged the Spanish driver’s career away
    from the tracks. The FMRE is a conglomerate of over 100 companies, the Instituto
    Español de Comercio Exterior (Spanish Institute of Foreign Trade), ICEX, and the
    Oficina Española de Patentes y Marcas (Spanish Office of Patents and Brands),
    OEPM, along with the ministries of Industry, Energy and Tourism; Economy and
    Competitiveness, and Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.

    Along with Fernando, receiving their awards, which were celebrating their fifth
    edition, were actor Antonio Banderas (in the Culture and Communications
    category), chef José Andrés (Tourism and Gastronomy), the director of the María
    Blasco National Centre for Oncologic Investigation (Science and Innovation), Isak
    Andic (Business Management), the National Transplants Organization (Social
    Action), professor Pedro Nueno (Institutional Relations) and the high-speed rail
    service, Alta Velocidad Española, (extraordinary accreditation).

    It was precisely the award winner in the Culture and Communications category,
    Antonio Banderas, who spoke on behalf of all the winners, in an act that also saw
    the Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism, José Manuel Soria; the High
    Commissioner of the Government for the Spain Brand, Carlos Espinosa de los
    Monteros; the Executive Chairman of the Banco Santander, Emilio Botín, and the
    Executive Chairman of the FMRE and Freixenet, José Luis Bonet, participate.

    "BICI ESTA MAÑANA..."

    "WE WANT TO WIN FOR THIS TEAM"

    There were plenty of questions for the Scuderia Ferrari race drivers at the press conference which followed on from the presentation of the F138 and which also featured Team Principal, Stefano Domenicali.

    Asked about the reasons why he will miss the Jerez de la Frontera test, Alonso said that, “the first test is a general test in which one checks that all the components are put together properly. Given the short amount of time available, we have decided that I will concentrate on the following tests: testing in Barcelona is more useful for measuring performance as well as being a circuit we race on. In the meantime, I will continue with my preparation and will follow the Jerez test, keeping in touch with Felipe and Pedro and analysing the data acquired by the engineers. To be 100% fit from now ‘til November will require combining training and resting. I can’t say if it’s a nice car or if it’s good enough to make the difference, because tenths are not visible to the eye, you need to see them from the cockpit. Now, all we can do is concentrate on testing.”

    It falls to Massa to give the new car its first taste of the track. “The first test is very useful to understand the direction in which we should go and where we need to do the most work,” commented the Brazilian. “Last year, I had a very positive second half to the season and I really want to get back on track and continue with the work that has seen me improve a lot over the past years. My aim is always the same, to give my all, right from the start of the season.”

    Both drivers were asked about their motivation to win at this point in their career and their response was unanimous: “The sooner we win the better and we want to win for this team, for what it means and to be part of the history that makes up the legend that is Ferrari.”