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Fernando Alonso leads Ferrari one-two in German GP

Highlights - German Grand Prix

By Marc Vesty

Fernando Alonso controversially led a Ferrari one-two at the German Grand Prix after Felipe Massa appeared to be given orders to let his team-mate past.

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel was third, 5.1 seconds adrift of the Spaniard.

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button never threatened the leaders but Hamilton's fourth-place finish means he still leads the drivers standings.

But the race was marred by the furore over Ferrari, who were fined $100,000 for breaching sporting regulations.

The result was a first one-two for Ferrari since the opening race of the season in Bahrain, a race Alonso won, but the Spaniard's victory in Germany was soured by the coded team orders given with 18 laps to go.

My decision to let Alonso pass - Massa

Ferrari, however, insisted the incident was "a driver decision" and said no instructions were given to their drivers.

Massa, who trailed his team-mate by 31 points prior to the race, was told by his Ferrari race engineer, Rob Smedley, over team radio: "Fernando is faster than you. Can you confirm you understand?" - to which he responded by letting Alonso through on Turn Six moments later.

Following the move, Smedley added: "Good lad. Just stick with it now, sorry."


Formula 1's governing body the FIA, state in Rule 39.1: "Team orders which interfere with a race result are prohibited," and, after a post-race stewards inquiry, Ferrari were issued with a fine .

BBC Sport pundit Eddie Jordan, a former team boss, called for both drivers to be disqualified.

"It was unlawful and was theft," he said. "They stole from us the chance of having a wheel-to-wheel contest between the drivers.

"Ferrari should be ashamed. This was a team order. For me, it is cheating and these two cars should be excluded."

The controversy overshadowed what was in fact a dominant display by Ferrari as the Italian team were consistently quicker than their rivals.

Massa took advantage of a battle between Alonso and Vettel to take the lead at the start but on lap 21 the Ferrari pair traded places on Turn Six before Massa regained the lead - resulting in Alonso saying on team radio: "This is ridiculous".

Asked to comment on the call afterwards, Massa, who was denied a potential win one year to the day after he fractured his skull in the Hungarian GP, said: "I don't need to say anything about that. He passed me."

And Alonso added: "Sometimes you are quick, sometimes you are slow.

"It's a very strong result for the team. I think it was a good weekend overall, we improved the car a lot. We performed very well."

Team result is most important - Alonso

Alonso's win took him to within 34 points of Hamilton, who has 157 points. Defending champion Button is second with 143 points, while Webber and Vettel are equal third with 136 points.

And 2008 world champion Hamilton was philosophical about his performance.

"Unfortunately the guys in front were phenomenally quick, and I was struggling a little bit with the balance throughout the race. Nevertheless we look forward, we scored some relatively decent points," he said.

Meanwhile, Red Bull's Mark Webber was sixth after engine problems, while the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher finished in eighth and ninth place respectively.

Robert Kubica was seventh for Renault with his team-mate Vitaly Petrov completing the top 10.

Rivals showed serious pace - Hamilton

Schumacher, a four-time winner at Hockenheim, began the race brightly, gaining three places from the start but the seven-time world champion began losing time half way through and fell behind team-mate Rosberg.

Kamui Kobayashi took 11th in the BMW Sauber, ahead of Williams' Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hulkenberg.

Out of the six German drivers racing at their home Grand Prix it was Vettel who finished top, securing a place on the podium for the first time in front of his home crowd.

And the 23-year-old said: "Finishing on the podium is very special for me, it's very nice and I am very emotional."

Alonso passes Massa for German GP lead

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see also
Ferrari fined but result stands
25 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
McLaren need more pace - Hamilton
25 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
German Grand Prix race results
24 Feb 10 |  Results
German Grand Prix as it happened
25 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
German Grand Prix photos
25 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
Alonso passes Massa for German GP lead
25 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
Vettel pips Alonso to German pole
24 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
Alonso surprised with front row
24 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
Test ban ridiculous - Schumacher
24 Jul 10 |  Formula 1

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