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McLaren duo penalised

NEWS STORY
22/03/2008

McLaren drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen, have both been demoted five places on the grid for tomorrow's Malaysian GP, having been adjudged to have blocked Nick Heidfeld and Fernando Alonso during the final phase of qualifying today.

In anticipation of rain, most of the drivers went out early for the final phase of the session. However, Heidfeld and Alonso opted to go out a little later.

Having completed their final flying lap, the McLaren duo headed back to the pits having been told to ease off and conserve fuel. However, as they slowly made their way back to the pits, on the racing line, they caused problems for both Heidfeld and Alonso, who, feeling they were deprived of a better qualifying result, subsequently complained.

The punishment, which McLaren will not appeal, means that Kovalainen will start tomorrow's race from eighth on the grid, one place ahead of his teammate.

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