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GP Week : Issue 111
Fernando Alonso saw a potential podium finish go up in smoke after a DRS failure and collision with rival Lewis Hamilton in the final quarter of yesterday’s Malaysian Grand Prix consigned him to a lowly sixth place at the flag. Despite the disappointment of losing out on a top three finish, Ferrari will draw positives from being able to challenge McLaren at the front of the field, a situation that looked entirely unlikely after the drubbing they received in qualifying. After losing two places off the line, a late first pitstop on lap 14 allowed the Spaniard to climb to third for his second stint, before his fortunes reversed with his second pitstop when he dropped to fourth after pitting three laps later than Button. A failure of his moveable rear wing meant he was unable to slipstream passed the ailing Lewis Hamilton, and in the end damaged his front wing after making contact with the McLaren at turn 3. ““I am happy with this race: not with the result but because we were finally competitive, capable of fighting wheel to wheel for a place on the podium,” said Alonso on Sunday evening. “ We were not lucky: if the moveable rear wing had worked all the time, I could easily have passed Hamilton down the straight, but instead we had to fight hard. ”Here, the car seemed capable of managing the tyres really well which meant I could fight with the others. With the package we have today, we cannot fight for the win, but I hope that changes soon.” He was subsequently penalised 20 seconds for his collision with Hamilton, but retained his sixth place due to having a large enough gap to Kamui Kobayashi in seventh. ... but Lewis cops a penalty as well ... Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton’s enthralling Malaysian Grand Prix duel was cast under a shadow on Sunday evening when both were given 20-second penalties by race stewards. The penalties were given in lieu of drive through penalties, meaning the sanction cannot be appealed. Hamilton had the 20 seconds added to his race time for making more than one change of direction while defending his third place from Alonso. Drivers are only allowed to move across the track once while being challenged from behind, but stewards found that he had not adhered to the rule while keeping Alonso at bay on the main straight at the beginning of lap 45. The penalty dropped Hamilton one place to eighth, costing him two world championship points, while Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi gains at his expense, rising to seventh. Rear-ender costs Fernando 29 FORMULA 1 Round 2 MALAYSIA Points – Drivers: Vettel 50, Button 26, Hamilton 22, Webber 22, Alonso 20, Massa 16, Heidfeld 15, Petrov 15, Kobayashi 6, Buemi 4, Sutil 2, di Resta 2, Schumacher 2 Manufacturers: Red Bull 72, McLaren 48, Ferrari 36, Renault 30, Sauber 6, Toro Rosso 4, Force India 4, Mercedes 2 Pos # Driver Team Laps Time Grid 1 1 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 56 1:37:39.832 1 2 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 56 +3.2 secs 4 3 9 Nick Heidfeld Renault 56 +25.0 secs 6 4 2 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 56 +26.3 secs 3 5 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 56 +36.9 secs 7 6 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 56 +57.2 secs 5 7 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 56 +66.4 secs 10 8 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 56 +69.9 secs 2 9 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 56 +84.8 secs 11 10 15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 56 +91.5 secs 14 11 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 55 +1Lap 17 12 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 55 +1 Lap 9 13 18 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 55 +1 Lap 12 14 19 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 55 +1 Lap 13 15 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 55 +1 Lap 19 16 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 54 +2 Laps 21 17 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 52 Accident 8 Ret 23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 46 Rear wing issue 23 Ret 25 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 42 Accident 22 Ret 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 31 Clutch 20 Ret 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 23 Accident 16 Ret 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 22 Hydraulics 15 Ret 22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 14 Hydraulics 24 Ret 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 8 Engine misfire 18 F1 MALAYSIA >>