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4-15 July was a difficult week for the principal international markets (Milan -7.2%, London 0.0%, Frankfurt -0.2%, Paris, -2.3%), due to fears about debt levels in peripheral euro zone countries. Sales were focussed primarily on bank shares (-5.7%, the worst sector in Europe).
After reaching new highs at €7.68, Pirelli closed the week at €7.4 (-1.7%), penalised by uncertainty in the markets and profit-taking: in the last month the share gained 10.9%, 22.1% since the start of the year, confirming it as one of the best-performing shares in the sector.
Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso has claimed his first win with Pirelli tyres and his first win of the season, overcoming mixed conditions and huge pressure from his adversaries to claim the 27th victory of his career and his first since the Korean Grand Prix last year.
The race started in damp conditions and ambient temperatures of 20 degrees centigrade, with all the field using P Zero Blue intermediate tyres. This meant, according to the regulations, that the drivers were no longer obliged to use both the P Zero Silver hard tyre and P Zero Yellow soft tyre during the course of the race.
Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel claimed the lead off the line from his team mate Mark Webber, who started from pole, while Alonso held his starting position of third. As the track dried out the drivers had to concentrate on preserving their intermediate tyres, with tense battles for second place between Webber and Alonso, and fourth place, between Ferrari’s Felipe Massa and McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton.
“Congratulations to Ferrari and Fernando Alonso on a fantastic race, 60 years after our first win with Ferrari at Silverstone” – Paul Hembery commented – “we’ve seen some incredible driving and some great manoeuvres. At the start of the race the P Zero Blue Intermediate tyre proved to be competitive on a very varied wet and dry track for about 12 laps, which was a very impressive performance. We saw a combination of two and three pit stops per car, which is exactly in line with our expectations and the podium places weren’t decided until the very final lap once more.”