No grid penalty for Alonso after Friday failures

The car of Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F2012 is bought back to the pits. Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Practice, Monza, Italy, Friday 7 September 2012.Sep.8 (GMM) Tifosi favourite Fernando Alonso will not have to move five places down Sunday’s Italian grand prix grid, despite engine and gearbox problems with the Ferrari F2012.

Some broadcasters on Friday said there was a risk the Spaniard, who endured a torrid practice Friday at Ferrari’s home Monza circuit, would cop a penalty for his gearbox breakdown.

But technical director Pat Fry explained: “Gearboxes are free on Friday obviously.”

Alonso also had a brake problem as well as an engine failure on Friday, but Fry added that the latter glitch was because it was “a Friday engine at high mileage”.

Championship leader Alonso, meanwhile, said that even though the F2012 seems more competitive at Monza compared to Spa a week ago, he thinks “McLaren is the favourite to win” on Sunday.

Lotus and Mercedes look quick as well. Red Bull, however, has not been impressive on the high-speed Autodromo so far in 2012.

“I think overall we are not as quick as we would like to be,” admitted 2011 Italian Grand Prix winner Sebastian Vettel.

Subbed by AJN.