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Alonso punished for blocking Massa 09 Sep 2006

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Italian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monza, Italy, 8 September 2006

World champion Fernando Alonso has dropped from fifth to tenth on the grid for Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix after Monza stewards penalized him for impeding Ferrari’s Felipe Massa during qualifying.

Massa complained to officials that Alonso had blocked him whilst on his final run at the end of session. The stewards agreed and deleted the Renault star’s three fastest times from Q3, though they did concede that Alonso’s actions may not have been deliberate.

The penalty has no effect on Massa’s grid position as he had qualified fourth, immediately ahead of Alonso. However, it is good news for Ferrari team mate Michael Schumacher, who qualified second. Schumacher, who trails Alonso by 12 points in the drivers’ championship, now has seven cars between himself and his title rival for the start of Ferrari’s home race.