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British Grand Prix: Alonso keeps counsel over penalty

British Grand Prix

Highlights - British Grand Prix

By Andrew Benson
BBC Sport at Silverstone

Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso decided to keep his frustrations to himself after falling foul of the stewards at the British Grand Prix.

It was the second time in two races that Alonso has suffered as a result of a controversial call by race officials.

This time, an initial decision to force him to give up one place was turned into a drive-through penalty that dropped him from fourth to 16th.

"What the stewards say is always right so I am not too upset," said Alonso.

The 28-year-old, who has dropped to fifth in the championship nearly two race wins behind leader Lewis Hamilton after finishing in 14th place at Silverstone, had been heard on his radio during the race asking the team not to talk to him for the rest of the grand prix after the penalty.

Felipe Massa

Alonso collision ruined race - Massa

He said afterwards that was because he could see all his rivals in front of him and had no need of the information.

Alonso was punished for gaining an advantage by cutting a corner while passing Renault's Robert Kubica for seventh place on lap 17.

The Spaniard went around the outside of the Pole at Brooklands and was forced off the track by Kubica on the exit of the corner as the Renault driver legitimately defended his position.

Alonso passed Kubica as he rejoined the track at the next corner - Luffield.

Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali said the team had checked with race control whether they felt Alonso had broken the rules and should give the place back.

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But by the time the answer had come back that he should, they were not able to because Kubica had dropped a long way back and he retired shortly afterwards.

In that event, the stewards decided to issue Alonso with a drive-through penalty, which he had to serve just after a safety car period, dropping him to the back of the field.

Domenicali described the decision as "very harsh".

He added: "He tried to be aggressive and overtake. We complain the drivers are not aggressive and there is not enough overtaking.

"At that stage, we felt we needed to go and check with race control what is the position.

"Normally we wait for them to give a judgement, when we got the decision to give the position to Robert, it was clear he had lost a lot of time and was having problems.

"You can have a situation where you immediately give the position back to the driver if you think there is really an advantage that you gained. But we felt that was not really the case."

Alonso penalty was harsh - Domenicali

Alonso penalty was harsh - Domenicali

It came two weeks after Alonso dropped from third place to the lower reaches of the top 10 following a safety car period in the European Grand Prix while Lewis Hamilton - who was directly ahead of him when the safety car was deployed - was given a penalty for overtaking the safety car but was still able to recover and finish second.

He said after that race that it had been "manipulated".

Despite the blow to his title hopes at Silverstone, Alonso said he believed he would still win the championship.

"We lost some points in Valencia and here," he said. "But these are the moments of the championship that we need to show we are a contender.

"I am more convinced than before this race that we will win this championship."

Domenicali said the team had been encouraged by the pace of the car after upgrades had been added to it for the Silverstone and Valencia races.

"This is a period where everything is going in the wrong direction," he said. "We need to look at the facts and see the car has made a good step in performance.

I definitely passed him and then he touch a little bit my tyres and so my tyres were destroyed and my race finished

Massa on his collision with Alonso

"I am sure the luck will come back and maybe we will move towards the others. We just need to believe in ourselves and the time will come.

"For sure we are not collecting the points we deserve. This is a shame. We are not happy about this.

"But on the positive side we are really on the right side because we are going up once again with the performance of the car. The signs of very good results are there.

"In the middle of the clouds, the unlucky scenarios will pass and we just need to stay strong, try not to be too emotional.

"I know what is the pressure but if we stay cool I'm sure we can take the results we can believe."

Alonso's team-mate Felipe Massa could only finish in 15th place to compound a miserable weekend for Ferrari.

Massa started in seventh place but had to come in for the first of his two pit stops after suffering a puncture when connecting with Alonso at Becketts - the fourth corner - on the first lap.

"He [Alonso] was fighting with a car in front and went completely to the right so I pulled inside," explained Massa.

"I definitely passed him and then he touched a little bit my tyres and so my tyres were destroyed and my race finished.

"I feel disappointed for the race. I think we had a reasonable and competitive car but nothing happens because of the first lap."



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British Grand Prix

RaceLast updated: 15 Nov 2012 12:32 UK
Position Country Driver Race Time
1 australia M Webber 1:24:38.200
2 great britain L Hamilton 1:24:39.560
3 germany N Rosberg 1:24:59.507
4 great britain J Button 1:25:00.186
5 brazil R Barrichello 1:25:09.656
6 japan K Kobayashi 1:25:10.371
7 germany S Vettel 1:25:14.934
8 germany A Sutil 1:25:19.132
9 germany M Schumacher 1:25:19.799
10 germany N Hulkenberg 1:25:20.212


see also
Webber revels in win over Vettel
11 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
Webber storms to British GP win
11 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
British GP as it happened
11 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
British Grand Prix photos
11 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
Dominant Red Bulls take front row
10 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
Red Bull deny Vettel favouritism
10 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
Webber heads British GP practice
09 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
Hamilton hits back at Alonso jibe
29 Jun 10 |  Formula 1
Alonso angry at 'unfair' result
27 Jun 10 |  Formula 1


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