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Ferrari hopes hit skids

WITH Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso qualifying at the front of the grid, the Malaysian Grand Prix seemed the perfect chance for Ferrari to show it could challenge for the championship.

But that fell apart almost from the start. Qualifying second and third, the two Ferraris almost collided as they left the starting grid and then Alonso damaged his front wing when he bumped into Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel. A lap later, he crashed out when his wing shattered.

Alonso said he was surprised to have run into the back of Vettel, calling his mishap "very unlucky".

Massa, meanwhile, was outmanoeuvred from the start by the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg as well as Red Bull's Mark Webber. He fell to ninth before recovering to finish fifth, but that left him fifth in the championship, with Alonso sixth.

The Brazilian also said the team's pit strategy backfired on him. "Starting with a new set of intermediates on a track that was damp at some points and completely dry at others prevented me from having a good pace," he said.