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GP Week : Issue 20
F1 GERMANY >> FERRARI has conceded it was soundly beaten in Germany and has vowed to fight back at the next Grand Prix, in Hungary. With Felipe Massa third and Kimi Raikkonen sixth, the result of the German Grand Prix was a relative disaster from a Ferrari perspective, as Lewis Hamilton took maximum points to establish a slight championship lead over the Ferrari duo. “This was not a good day and there’s no point denying it,” said Ferrari Sporting Director Stefano Domenicali. “Our rivals were stronger than us and we have to work out why, without however getting caught up in nebulous and superficial analysis. For the first time this season in a race, we did not have the pace we had expected to run at.” “We must try and understand why, this weekend, we have not been a match for our rivals,” said Massa. “They have definitely improved, but I think this was more a case of us having taken a step backwards. “Right from the beginning Hamilton’s pace seemed unbeatable and I understood it would be hard to beat him.” Ferrari will aim to improve its performance at this week’s test at Jerez, Spain, where the team will conduct all four days of testing as it aims to get back to winning ways next time out in Hungary. Ferrari admits failure in Germany McLAREN CEO Ron Dennis has praised his team for its combined efforts at winning the German Grand Prix. The race, which formed the second of the team’s ‘home’ Grands Prix in a row, was one of differing fortunes for McLaren’s drivers as Lewis Hamilton stormed to a fantastic win, while team-mate Heikki Kovalainen again struggled with race pace. “The deployment of the Safety Car presented us with a difficult decision,” said Dennis. “Should we or should we not bring Lewis in for a pitstop? We’d expected the track to be cleared of debris a little faster than it was, which would have allowed the Safety Car to come in a bit earlier. As a result, Lewis was unable to rejoin the race in the lead. He responded majestically, however, and scored another fabulous win. “Heikki was troubled by oversteer in his first stint, which we attempted to correct at his first pit stop, but he still struggled a little in his next stint. That being the case, he wasn’t able to match Lewis’ pace today. But it’s the mark of both his professionalism and his sportsmanship that, aware of his situation relative to Lewis, he made it relatively straightforward for Lewis to pass him.” Dennis reiterated that he believed Kovalainen’s time for a win would come, and made special note of the Finn’s racecraft, which he was able to demonstrate in spite of his car troubles. “In difficult circumstances he [Kovalainen] raced tremendously well today – his overtaking manoeuvre on Robert Kubica was just sensational – and once again he showed a winner’s grit and determination. It’s a joy to have two drivers who are not only super- competitive but also super-co-operative.” Dennis praises team effort by McLaren 27