Ferrari lament Montreal drizzle as Fernando Alonso struggles and Felipe Massa crashes out
Spaniard to start Sunday's race from just sixth
By Pete Gill and James Galloway. Last Updated: 08/06/13 9:15pm
Ferrari have bemoaned the wet and wild conditions during a miserable qualifying session which finished with Fernando Alonso just sixth and Felipe Massa suffering his third heavy crash in the last two weeks.
Having topped the field in the dry of Practice Two on Friday, Alonso was reduced to a peripheral figure during Saturday's drizzle, while Massa's problems were even more pronounced in the sister F138 as the Brazilian slid and slithered all over the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit before crashing out of the session altogether during Q2.
Although Massa was later given the all-clear after a trip to the medical centre, the result remained a painful experience for his team boss.
"Unfortunately we know that in these conditions we are suffering more than some others," lamented Stefano Domenicali in his interview with Sky Sports F1.
"These conditions - intermediates, going to dry and then back again - are the worst for us because we are not able to generate enough temperature to make sure the grip is there.
"It was difficult for us."
Those sentiments were shared by his star driver Alonso after the Spaniard matched his disappointing sixth-place grid berth from Monaco.
The 32-times GP winner, who ended up a full second slower than main title rival Sebastian Vettel in Q3, said the track's grip levels had been changing from lap to lap.
"Very difficult, extremely difficult, conditions," Alonso told Sky F1. "We knew yesterday already it would be a challenging weekend. The qualifying was very challenging, you never knew which tyre was the best one at that moment.
"Also you need to interpret the grip at every corner because maybe the last time you passed that particular corner it was raining or it was getting dry, so you need to guess when you pass again there."
Yet all might not be lost for Ferrari - and in particular race-specialist Alonso - if the sun shines on Sunday.
"It will be interesting to see what we can do. The race pace we saw good car yesterday so hopefully dry conditions which for us are better," the two-times champion added.
"Maybe it's a little bit easier if it's dry to get to the podium looking at the potential of our car. But as I said, we need to have a good race, to finish the race.
"If we can finish in front of our rivals in the championship it will be great. Kimi [Raikkonen] starting tenth [sic. ninth] will be a good opportunity; Sebastian will be more difficult. We will need a very good race and we will try to do so [finish ahead of Vettel] also."
Domenicali added: "Everything is possible with Alonso and with good weather we can have a good race. But a dry track is a very important condition for us."
Having slipped 29 points behind World Championship leader Vettel after a problematic Monaco GP, Alonso will certainly need to be at his very best in the race if he is not to fall even further behind the reigning World Champion in this year's standings.