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GP Week : Issue 78
Jump-starting Alonso given penalty FERNANDO Alonso flew into the lead from third on the grid, tucking in ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber and racing into the distance. But on closer inspection, he'd pulled away under red lights. The Spaniard was handed a drive-thru penalty which meant, combined with tyre changes, he pitted three times in the first six laps. It was, therefore, and impressive performance that saw him drive to fourth place. "I made a serious mistake at the start as my reflexes let me down and I left early. It's never happened to me before and I am very disappointed with myself. "We did five pit stops to change tyres, which is definitely unusual: all in all, I think we took the right decisions at the right time. In a race like this you only understand at the end what would have been the best thing to do, as neither on the pit wall nor in the car do we have a crystal ball!" Pitting for the third time, Alonso passed Felipe Massa in the pit entry road, causing some to ask if there were issues between the team mates: "I think it was just a racing incident and there is absolutely no problem between the two drivers: when you are always racing to win, you can have moments like this," said Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali. Massa explained what happened: "I ended up on a puddle of water coming out of the hairpin and slightly lost control of the car: he managed to get inside me, passing me going into the pit lane. I lost some places because of it, as I had to wait for his stop to be finished." Alonso said: "If he was not my team mate, there wouldn't be so much talk about it and for me it was a normal move and it definitely won't compromise our relationship." -- and passes team-mate in pit lane 26