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GP Week : Issue 166
28 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> MONZA 28 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: A potential race victory may have slipped through his grasp thanks to an anti-roll bar failure in qualifying, but championship leader Fernando Alonso was more than happy to pick up 15 points for third place in Monza on Sunday as his championship lead grew yet again. The Spaniard described the result as “perfect” in the pursuit of his third title, as main rivals Vettel, Webber and Button all retired. Alonso was ensured a dramatic race after qualifying only 10th, and he soon progressed to fifth before closing on Vettel at the start of his second stint. Vettel came a cropper however when he was penalised for pushing Alonso off-track at the Curva Grande, although Alonso had already found his way through by the time the drive-through was handed down. The Spaniard then went on to overhaul team-mate Massa to climb to second, but was later caught and passed by Sauber’s Sergio Perez, demoting him to third. Despite the ups and downs, he was adamant it was the perfect race for him after the first-lap retirement in Spa a week earlier: “This Sunday was perfect for the championship, almost like a film with a happy ending: another podium finish, three of my closest rivals with no points and an increased lead over my closest pursuer,” said Alonso. “We must try to win some more races and to manage the lead we have in the classification. Here we had to mark Vettel, but in Singapore it will be important to keep an eye on Hamilton, who is now second.” When asked for his opinion on Vettel’s penalty, Alonso refused to comment directly, but said: “I think we need to see it on TV. Last year it was not penalised, this year it has been. I think there is a big difference for the people who understand this movement.” Alonso’s efforts were well-received by the fanatical tifosi during the podium celebrations, saving the loudest cheer for the scarlet-clad Spaniard. ALONSO HAILS “PERFECT” RACE AS CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD GROWS