Ferrari: Alonso gamble backfired

Sunday 24-March-2013 13:16

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali concedes the team's gamble to leave Fernando Alonso out longer with a damaged front wing at Sepang didn't pay off.

Alonso started the Malaysian Grand Prix third on the grid and he was able to challenge race leader Sebastian Vettel after the first corner, however, the two made contact at Turn 2 and the front wing of his F138 was damaged.

The team opted to keep him out on the track, but it wasn't too long before Mark Webber started to challenge him and the front wing gave way and became wedged underneath his car as the Red Bull driver overtook him.

The end result was Alonso sliding off the circuit and finishing his 200th grand prix without any points.

"We took a risk that didn't pay off," said Domenicali.

"After the touch, the race was not over and I considered the situation where there was a transition from wet to dry.

"In normal conditions you would come in, but in this transition, if you believe the wing can survive, you try and bide your time. You may have the chance to pit to change to the dry tyres and be the hero of the weekend.

"Unfortunately the wing didn't stay there."

There were suggestions that Alonso was the one who opted to stay out, but Domenicali insists the call came from the pitwall.

"The decision was from the pitwall," he added. "Obviously Fernando can feel it in the car, but he could not see the damage from his view.

"We take the responsibility as the team. The 'kiss' [on Vettel's car] was unfortunate because we could have taken good points from this race.

"Fernando's not happy to come away with zero points, but he's positive and looking forward because he knows we have something to play with."

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