Ferrari praise pit crew for Alonso`s triumph

Monza: Fernando Alonso did the driving but the mechanics who performed a lightning-fast pit stop to help the Spaniard take first place in Sunday`s Italian Grand Prix also won the Ferrari plaudits.

Alonso started on pole for his first home race with the Italians but was overtaken at the start by McLaren`s Jenson Button, only to snatch back the lead from the Briton after a perfect pitstop.

"I felt it was the quickest I have ever done," a beaming Alonso told a news conference after Ferrari`s first win on their home circuit since 2006 put him back in the title battle.

"I didn`t even have first gear in, I was surprised how quick it was. Physically it was not possible to press all the buttons and (in that time) they had changed all four tyres."

Team boss Stefano Domenicali also hailed his pit crew who hugged each other and shook Monza`s high wire fences with delight as Alonso zoomed across the line.

"Today it seems we should thank the lads who did an impeccable pitstop. It was a great job," Domenicali said, adding that they had received no special training despite the extra scrutiny on their work for their home race.

"You feel extra pressure at home in front of your own supporters and they had a great response."

"We were very close to calling Alonso on the same lap as Button. We considered the gaps and said: `Let`s do one more lap`."

Domenicali was less impressed by Alonso being overtaken at the start and brushing team mate Felipe Massa`s car on the first lap, days after Ferrari escaped a sporting sanction for a team-orders controversy in Germany where a peeved Massa let Alonso pass.

"I want to underline that we have got to avoid situations which cause problems and today we were very close," he smiled.

However, Domenicali was overjoyed with his first home triumph as team boss and with the jubilant Italian party that followed as fans, dancing and waving giant flags, invaded the track.

"Definitely when you go on the podium and see the sea of humanity, it`s amazing; they are moments which stay with you," he said.

"I was saying to Jenson, close to me on the podium, that it is unique."

Bureau Report