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Ferrari left to rue pit-stop decision

After all the drama of an action packed Malaysian Grand Prix, it's quite easy to forget that Ferrari's Fernando Alonso suffered an early retirement in the race.

The Spaniard's retirement on the first corner of lap two was probably the catalyst to Sebastian Vettel's desperation to beat team-mate Mark Webber in the closing stages of the race.

With Alonso failing to score any points, the German probably felt he had to maximise the points advantage over one of his potential Championship rivals this season.

It might only be the second race of the season, but the teams are showing a sheer determination to maximise every opportunity, Vettel has risked his entire reputation on securing those addition seven points.

While Ferrari appeared to risk everything on trying to get Alonso to crawl around to a point when he could switch from the intermediate tyres to the dry compound tyres instead of pitting immediately to fix a broken front wing.

Alonso had just gently nudged the back of Sebastian Vettel during the opening few turns of the race, it wasn't enough to damage the back of the Red Bull, but it was enough to damage the front wing of the Ferrari.

Over the remainder of the lap, the wing began to drag and slowly breakaway from the front of the car. Everyone assumed that Alonso would pit at the end of the lap to replace the front wing, but due to the Spaniard amazingly being able to keep pace with the Red Bull of Vettel Ferrari opted to keep him out on track.

It proved the wrong decision as several hundreds of yards later, with Mark Webber overtaking him down the straight, the front wing broke away from under him, lodging itself under the car and forcing Alonso into the gravel and an early retirement.

'We took a risk that didn't pay off.' Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali told the BBC.

'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.'

So was it a Ferrari call, or was it Alonso's gamble?

'The decision was from the pit wall,' Domenicali confirmed.

It would seem it wasn't just Red Bull and Mercedes who had something to discuss with their drivers following the race!

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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday March 28 2013

Time: 12:00PM


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