Massa takes grid penalty to help Alonso

ALAN BALDWIN
Last updated 07:41 19/11/2012
Felipe Massa
Getty Images
TOUGH BREAK: Felipe Massa has taken an unnecessary grid penalty to give teammate Fernando Alonso a better chance in the US Grand Prix.

Relevant offers

Motorsport

Kiwi driver Simon Evans out to consolidate SuperTourers lead at Hampton Downs Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg give new Mercedes car a test drive at Silverstone Huge praise for New Zealand driver Scott Dixon as new IndyCar season looms Australian V8 driver Tony D’Alberto late entry to NZ SuperTourer races field Red Bull flat out as first Formula One test looms Otaki youngster firing up racing career Manawatu farmer Blake Gloyn sets world record on drag strip Minimum outlay; maximum excitement in new 2k Cup car racing Paul Kelly swaps Porsche for Firebird at Highlands Festival of Speed Aussie F1 star eyes Lewis Hamilton's Top Gear record

Brazilian Felipe Massa took a five-place grid penalty for the US Formula One Grand Prix to help Ferrari team mate Fernando Alonso on Sunday.

Massa qualified ahead of the Spaniard, who is the only driver who can deny Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel a third successive title. Vettel, with a 10-point lead and one race remaining after Austin, starts on pole position.

Ferrari said they had broken a seal on Massa's gearbox, incurring the mandatory penalty, for "strategy considerations, with the objective of maximizing Alonso's start potential."

The penalty means Alonso will now start in seventh place and, crucially, on the 'clean' side of the grid.

"We saw yesterday that starting from the dirty side of the track would have been penalising: there was a significant risk of finding ourselves too far behind the leaders at the end of the first lap," Ferrari said on their website.

The team said both drivers had agreed the move.

"We've always maintained that the interests of the team come before that of the individual drivers and this has always been our very transparent policy," said Ferrari.

"Felipe has fully comprehended the reasons behind this decision and so he's once again proven his total dedication to the team - something for which we would publicly like to express our gratitude."

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who is your favourite V8 Supercars driver?

Scott McLaughlin

Shane Van Gisbergen

Fabian Coulthard

Jamie Whincup

Mark Winterbottom

Craig Lowndes

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content

Blog