Vettel’s Canada win courtesy of Ferrari’s error in tire choice—Domenicali

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pikes20130618FERRARI team chief Stefano Domenicali said he believes Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel’s win at the recent Canadian Grand Prix would have been a completely different picture had Ferrari driver, two-time world champion Fernando Alonso, started from the front row instead of sixth place on the grid.

“I believe that had Fernando been on the first row, like Sebastian, then it would have been a different story,” he said. “The main difference was that everyone thought that the super-soft was the tire for the race, but because the temperature was higher, then it was the other way around. This is something to learn from, as it is so on the edge that a couple of degrees can make a difference.”

Vettel, the defending triple world champion, claimed his 29th career win by driving his car from pole position to the checkered flag in an unchallenged demonstration of dominance. The victory gave him a 36-point lead over Alonso after seven races.

Domenicali added that Ferrari’s major and most costly weakness in performance was in single-lap—or qualifying—pace. He conceded again in Canada that it was the area on which the scarlet scuderia now needed to focus on if it were to close the gap on the championship-leading Vettel.

“Unfortunately, it is a very easy thing to say but a very difficult thing to do,” Domenicali said. “Improving qualifying is a need for us because if you start behind you are not able to attack.”

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Vettel claimed the Canadian Grand Prix for the first time, and took his third win this season. He finished ahead of Alonso, with Mercedes-Benz’s Lewis Hamilton coming in third.

A clearly delighted Vettel added, after brief boos from Ferrari fans during the podium interviews; “It wasn’t that bad—not for us anyway. The sun came out as well so it doesn’t get any better. We had good races in Canada before but it didn’t come together to win, then I lost it in the last lap two years ago, which was my fault, but I made up for that today.”

Vettel’s teammate, Mark Webber, came in fourth ahead of Monaco winner Nico Rosberg in the second Mercedes, Jean-Eric Vergne of Toro Rosso and Paul Di Resta of Force India. Felipe Massa finished eighth in the second Ferrari, after starting from 16th on the grid, ahead of Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus and Adrian Sutil in the second Force India.

Raikkonen’s result means he had equaled seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher’s record of 24 consecutive points finishes.

Vettel’s win lifted him to 132 points at the top of this year’s championship. Alonso is second on 96 and Raikkonen third with 88. Hamilton has 77 in fourth.

Trackside death
Meanwhile, a 38-year-old marshal was killed in an accident involving a crane after the end of the race, organizers and the International Automobile Federation (FIA) said. The accident occurred as workers attempted to remove the Sauber driven by Esteban Gutierrez, who had been forced to abandon the race.

As workers used a mobile crane to lift the vehicle and return it to the pits, one worker, who was not immediately identified by officials, dropped his radio and attempted to pick it up. The man stumbled and was hit and run over by the recovery vehicle, whose driver couldn’t see him, the FIA said in a statement posted on its website.

He was stabilized by racetrack medical personnel and airlifted to hospital, but succumbed to his injuries.

The worker was the third marshal to be killed working at a Formula One race since 2000. At the Italian Grand Prix in Monza in 2000, volunteer firefighter Paolo Ghislimberti died from head and chest injuries after being struck by a loose wheel from Heinz-Harald Frentzen’s Jordan in the wake of a first-lap crash. At the 2001 Australian Grand Prix, marshal Graham Beveridge was fatally injured when he was struck by a wheel from Jacques Villeneuve’s BAR-Honda that had flown through a gap in the safety fence.

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