Massa penalty promotes Alonso

Sunday 18-November-2012 17:40

Ferrari have changed Felipe Massa's gearbox in the build-up to the US GP, putting his team-mate Fernando Alonso on the clean side of the grid.

On Sunday morning reports emerged claiming that Ferrari were considering changing Massa's gearbox in order for the Brazilian, who qualified P6, to incur a five-place penalty.

The drop down the order is to benefit his team-mate Alonso as the Spaniard, who was set to start eighth, was on the dirty side of the grid.

Alonso will now start the grand prix seventh, which is the clean side of the grid, giving him a much better chance of making up positions at the start.

Ferrari's Luca Colajanni told Sky Sports F1: "This decision has been taken to maximise the potential at the start for Fernando"

The news, though, has not gone down well with some in the paddock.

F1 doctor Gary Hartstein tweeted: "What a typically cynical manipulation.

"Rules are rules but we're seeing cleverness trump sportsmanship . . . once again."

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