Marlboro came away from the Belgian Grand Prix with just a fourth place, thanks to a strong performance from Felipe Massa in a race that was incident filled and run in changeable weather. Fernando Alonso
was T-boned by Barrichello at the Bus Stop on the opening
lap and had to make an unscheduled pit stop. After that he staged a great climb back up the order before spinning out of the race on lap 38. After thirteen races, the positions in the two classifications remain the same, but the gaps to the leaders in both the Drivers' and the Constructors' are now more significant.
Stefano Domenicali: "This weekend definitely did not end well for us, even if Felipe's fourth place, at the end of an impeccable and error free race in conditions that were far from easy, is an important result. Fernando saw his race compromised right from the first lap, the unwitting victim of an accident and then, despite fighting his way up the order, he ended up off the track in the sort of incident that can easily happen in a rain-affected race. Apart from that, and any other considerations, we must recognise that our performance in this Grand Prix did not match our expectations and interrupted a positive trend that began a few races ago: we have to understand why immediately and take the necessary countermeasures. The situation in both championships is certainly more difficult, but it is still not impossible for us to reach our targets: for those with short memories, I remember that three years ago, we found ourselves in a much worse situation and we all know how it went in the end."
Felipe Massa: "I think this is a positive result and, given the way the race went and the accidents that put Vettel and Button out of the game, we can even say we were a bit lucky. This weekend, Red Bull and McLaren were stronger than us, but we worked well as a team, making the right choices before and during the race. Our set-up was a bit more efficient in the dry, while we suffered a bit in the wet, especially in the middle sector, while in the first two we were reasonably competitive. Now we go to Monza, for our home race: we hope to do well at a track where speed and stability under braking count for a lot. We will continue to fight right to the end, even if the situation in the championship is ever more compromised."Fernando Alonso
: "The first of the seven "finals" went badly for me and for two of the other five finalists, while the remaining two got the maximum results: that means we will have to make up the ground lost today somewhere else. At the start, I immediately made up some places and the signs were that I could have a good race. Then, I found myself in the wrong place at the wrong time, when Rubens could not control his car under braking and crashed into me. I came straight back to the pits to change the tyres and to check the car was alright, when we fitted intermediate tyres, expecting more persistent and harder rain, but that was not the case. Yesterday we were hoping for rain, but when it came it was already too late to be of much use to me; on the contrary it prevented me from getting the chance to overtake the cars which would have had to stop to fit the soft tyres. Then I went off the track, when I went over a kerb and that was my race over: a shame even if the points I could have brought home would not have been a lot. It is very disappointing, because this is a bad result, but it does not mean I have given up on my chances of winning the title."
Chris Dyer: "Felipe had a good race, always keeping out of trouble and he made the right choices, bringing home a good result, given our performance level in this Grand Prix, which definitely did not live up to our expectations. However, on the other side of the garage, the mood is one of great disappointment, because the lack of points seriously complicates Fernando's chances in the title fight. His race was immediately an uphill struggle, because of the collision with Barrichello, which meant he had to pit immediately. At that point we took the gamble of fitting intermediate tyres, given that we had nothing to lose, but then we had to bring him in again for dry tyres. It was a good climb up the order, but in the end he went off the track in the wet which ended any last chance of scoring points. Clearly there is much work to do in order to tackle the remaining six races of the season in the best way possible."