Alonso gets big break a with Vettel’s back of the grid penalty

Fernando Alonso getting ready for qualifying at Yas Marina

Fernando Alonso getting ready for qualifying at Yas Marina

Nov.4 (GMM) The battle for the Formula One World Drivers’ Championship has been blown wide open, with Sebastian Vettel set to start Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – the third last race of 2012 – from the pitlane, providing a big opportunity for Fernando Alonso to close the gap in the world championship standings and perhaps even retake the lead at the top of the table.

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari and race engineer Andrea Stella (ITA). Formula One World Championship, Rd18, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Practice, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Friday 2 November 2012.Fernando Alonso is currently 13 points behind Vettel, with the German’s demotion he will start the race from sixth on the grid and so it is now quite possible that a podium finish on Sunday can give him back the world championship lead.

“This is an opportunity I have to use well,” Ferrari‘s Alonso is quoted by SID news agency. “For sure, the race will be easier with Vettel starting from the back.”

Having raced into a runaway lead in the points standings with four wins on the trot in his dominant Red Bull, Vettel pulled over after qualifying third at Yas Marina.

Immediately afterwards, team boss Christian Horner said engine supplier Renault had made the call.

“We saw something on the telemetry and did not want to risk the engine,” said the French marque’s Remi Taffin, according to Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport.

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F2012 in parc ferme. Formula One World Championship, Rd18, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Qualifying, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Saturday 3 November 2012.However, as Red Bull and Renault could actually demonstrate to the FIA that there was a genuine problem, the team escaped sanction at that point.

The team’s problems, however, were not over, as the stewards looked into the incident for almost five hours after qualifying.

Ultimately, scrutineers were unable to extract enough fuel from Vettel’s RB8 for the mandatory 1-litre testing sample – apparently only 850 ml was available in the tank.

The stewards then sent Vettel to the back of the grid.

“We will withdraw the car from parc ferme in order to investigate further,” said Horner, admitting that the action will mean a pitlane start for Vettel.

The only good news is that Red Bull can install a new engine for Vettel without further penalty, even though the German has already run through his 2012 allocation of eight V8 units.

Horner however said that his 25-year-old driver will have a “busy evening” on Sunday to minimise the likely damage to his championship bid, with Alonso promoted on the grid to sixth.

Subbed by AJN.

  • Speedo

    Lady luck smiles on Alonso and Ferrari. Something had to give way as Alonso has had the good and the bad luck while Lewis in particular have had bad luck throughout this season. Lewis too should have been in the reckoning for the WDC. Ferrari better up their ante now that they have time on hand with two races to go after this one. Good luck Alonso erase the deficit. Game on

  • McHare

    Suspect that had Alonso suffered the same engine fault the reason not enough fuel was extracted would have been due to the engine fault and no penalty would have been applied. Alonso hasn’t done enough to deserve the championship this year. He’s not a winner, just a finisher. No good enough!

  • quattro

    I am very surprised that RB got punished. Given the amount of cash they have and history of getting away with what looks to me as obvious cheats, I was expecting no penalty. A headline and article stating that RB has actually not breaken the rules (just the spirit of them) and that the lack of 1 liter fuel was the next Newey “innovation”…Confused really…

  • TofisiFan

    There is a God!!!!!!!!!! I just hope Fernando and Ferrari utilise this chance and get on the podium at the very least.

  • george

    Alonso, one of the luckiest drivers out there! credit given regarding he is a good driver and red bull deserved the penalty, however luck always plays in Alonso’s hands!

  • quattro


    You are demonstrating an unattractive, although very common, shorcoming among humans – bad memory. I just want to refresh your short memory.

    Lotus took out ALO twice, from behind, costing him at least 36 more or less certain points.
    Of course I can also take the opportunity to remind you that the very lucky ALO raced the first quarter of 2012 with a car up to 1.5 seconds slower than the opposition, and continued to race with a package a few tenth down on the RB and Mclaren (and sometimes even Sauber/Lotus) for majority of the season.

    He has earned (and RACED for) each point he has taken, instead of cruising from (an easy) pole to an easy victory as some other drivers with dominant package has been doing.

    He has produced a F1 year to remember – with a disgustingly slow package – for those with somehow sufficient memory that is.

  • Butterfly


    That’s just your perception fu*cking with you, mate.

  • zouzou

    @quattro thank you for your comments , you just made my day . @george SIT HERE _|_ and rotate.

  • fools

    @MCHARE is a moron.