US Grand Prix: Ferrari take Felipe Massa penalty to aid Fernando Alonso title bid
Alonso to start Austin race from seventh on the grid
Sunday 18 November 2012
Felipe Massa will take a five-place grid penalty for today's United States Grand Prix as Ferrari tries to boost Fernando Alonso's fading Formula One world championship bid.
Ferrari has decided to break the seal on the gearbox of Massa, thus incurring the penalty, resulting in him dropping from sixth to 11th on the Circuit of The Americas grid.
That, in turn, aids Alonso as he is promoted from eighth to seventh, allowing the Spaniard to be on the clean side of the grid, and thus potentially make an improved start.
Massa remarked yesterday that in being on the dirty side of the new Circuit of The Americas track would be akin to starting in the wet given the combination of the asphalt and tyres.
A Ferrari spokesman has praised Massa for aiding Ferrari's cause, adding the move was made because "the interests of the team come before anything else".
Ferrari's decision has a knock-on effect for Nico Hulkenberg in his Force India, Lotus' Romain Grosjean and Williams' Bruno Senna who were due to start seventh, ninth and 11th respectively - on the clean side - but now line up sixth, eighth and 10th, and on the dirty side.
Like Alonso, Williams' Pastor Maldonado is the only other beneficiary in moving on to the clean side as he goes from 10th to ninth.
With Alonso trailing polesitter Sebastian Vettel by 10 points, he has to finish within 15 points of the German to ensure the title race goes down to the wire in Brazil next Sunday.
Didier Drogba went absolutely mental in the Chelsea dressing room after Blues were given the Premier League trophy
Liverpool's 2005 Champions League-winning side: From Jerzy Dudek to Vladimir Smicer - where are they now?
Jurgen Klopp favourite to replace Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool if he's sacked
Premier League 2015/16 kits: Confirmed and rumoured strips from Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and others
Sam Allardyce sacked: West Ham wait just a few minutes after final game to axe manager
- 1 Isis 'jihadi bride' claims forced sex with Yazidi girls is never rape because Koran condones it
- 2 Art Garfunkel calls Paul Simon a 'monster' with a Napoleon complex
- 3 Woman accidentally shoots herself in the head while posing for a selfie
- 4 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland