Late Massa grid penalty promotes Alonso

From Formula 1’s official website:

Ferrari have made a late decision to open the gearbox on Felipe Massa’s car, thus incurring a five-place grid penalty and dropping the Brazilian from P6 to P11 for the start of the 2012 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix.

The Italian team openly admitted that it was a tactical decision taken in order to promote Massa’s team mate and title contender, Fernando Alonso, from P8 to P7 on the grid, a slot which is critically on the right where grip is expected to be far superior as the cars leave the line.

If polesitter Sebastian Vettel wins the Austin race for Red Bull, Alonso needs to finish no lower than fourth if he is to stop the German clinching his third successive drivers’ title.

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