Ferrari defend penalty decision

Monday 19th November 2012

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Ferrari defend penalty decision

Ferrari defend penalty decision

Stefano Domenicali is adamant Ferrari made the right call in penalising Felipe Massa in the US GP and that every other team boss would agree or they're lying.

In the build-up to Sunday's United States GP, Ferrari deliberately broke the seal on Massa's gearbox to ensure the Brazilian was hit with a grid penalty, dropping him behind Alonso.

The move, though, wasn't aimed at helping Alonso make up a position but rather it was done to put the Championship hopeful on the clean side of the grid.

Ferrari's decision paid off as Alonso, with better traction in the short sprint into the first corner, quickly moved up into fourth place before later putting his F2012 on the podium.

And as Lewis Hamilton beat Sebastian Vettel to the victory, the Championship will go down to the season finale in Brazil with Alonso trailing Vettel by 13 points.

Asked whether he believed Ferrari had made the right decision, Domenicali said: "Yes, otherwise we wouldn't have done it.

"I prefer to be totally transparent, because honestly something like that you can easily simulate something, if you want. But I felt it was more correct to say the truth, this is our style, my style.

"You can agree or not with that decision, but honestly at the end of the day it is something that is on our responsibility to do it.

"We knew before the start of the race that the difference in grip level of the two side of the grid was very high, and we knew that it was very important to be with the first cars in the first couple of laps, otherwise the race would have been almost finished."

The Italian insisted that "if another team principal is saying we didn't do the right choice, he's lying to you."

In fact, Domenicali revealed that Ferrari even had a few concerns that Red Bull would use the same trick to undo their strategy by deliberately hitting Mark Webber with a penalty.

"Yes, that's why we waited until the last moment to do it. It's part of the strategic things you have to decide. That's part of the game," he said.

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