June 30th, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - After a dismal qualifying session on Saturday, in which Alonso just barely made it through to Q3 and Massa narrowly missed out on the top 10 shootout, it seemed impossible that a Ferrari driver would stand on the podium at the end of the British Grand Prix. But that is just what Fernando Alonso did, finishing third while Massa drove a strong but eventful race to finish sixth.
There was a fair amount of fortune involved in Alonso's podium. The safety car emerged on lap 42 after Sebastian Vettel's car coasted to a halt on the start-finish straight, and Alonso took the opportunity to pit for fresh tyres. He was one of only a handful of drivers to do so, and that made all the difference in the final few laps of the race, as he was able to catch and pass, among others, Kimi Raikkonen with ease. Vettel's retirement was also fortunate for Alonso, as it seemed impossible that the Ferrari would be fast enough to beat a Red Bull in a fair fight today.
For Massa, there was some cruel luck early in the race. The Brazilian was the second driver to suffer a left-rear tyre failure, which sent him spinning at the start of the Wellington Straight. A slow crawl back to the pits ensured that Massa went from a strong points position to last place. He then fought hard to be back in the points by the time the second safety car came out following Vettel's retirement. Sixth place does not sound spectacular for a Ferrari driver, but today it masked an inspired drive from Felipe Massa.
Ferrari have generally been struggling a bit in qualifying and then quick in the race throughout the season thus far. At Silverstone, their qualifying woes were the worst they have been in 2013, but their race pace was still reasonable. It was not good enough, however, for a podium under normal circumstances, which will be greatly concerning for a team that looked like making a serious title challenge earlier in the year.
Mercedes have moved ahead of Ferrari in the Constructor's Championship after the British Grand Prix, a situation that will not please Ferrari at all. They will be looking to recover as quickly as possible, starting with next weekend's German Grand Prix.