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Ferrari play down Alonso-Massa China duel 20 Apr 2010

(L to R): Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari with Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 3, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race Day, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, 4 April 2010 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F10 exits the pits.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Chinese Grand Prix, Race, Shanghai, China, Sunday, 18 April 2010 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F10 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Chinese Grand Prix, Race, Shanghai, China, Sunday, 18 April 2010

Ferrari have moved to quell media reports of friction between their two drivers after Fernando Alonso’s opportunistic pass on Felipe Massa as the pair entered the pit lane during Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai.

The move cost Massa a place and forced him to wait while his team mate’s car was serviced, dropping the Brazilian further down the order. Massa ultimately finished ninth to Alonso’s fourth, losing his lead in the drivers’ championship in the process, but after the race both men played down the incident.

“If he was not my team mate, there wouldn’t be so much talk about it and for me it was a normal move and it definitely won’t compromise our relationship,” said Alonso, while Massa admitted he had briefly lost control exiting the hairpin, thus allowing the Spaniard to get alongside.

However, Ferrari have pointed out that this hasn’t stopped certain media outlets taking some of Massa’s post-race comments out of context in a bid to create what the team terms ‘bad blood’ between their two drivers.

“What happened was just an episode in a race and should be treated as such,” said a Ferrari spokesperson. “Our drivers know how to behave on the track and they have shown it also this time. Naturally both want to win and they both bring fighting spirit to the races, while respecting a very simple rule: the team's well-being is of more importance than the individual's well-being.”

Ferrari added that Alonso and Massa were due to travel back to Europe together on the same flight, along with team technicians.