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Third place is as good as a victory, says Ferrari's Alonso

He was soon after elevated to eighth because of a gearbox-change penalty for Frenchman Romain Grosjean of Lotus and, on Sunday, advanced another position -- and to the clean right side of the grid — when his team decided to incur a penalty for Brazilian Felipe Massa by breaking the seal on his car’s gearbox.

Alonso said: “We know that our championship is alive thanks to the first laps. We always qualified around seventh or eighth and finish the first lap in the first three or four positions. And after that, the race becomes a bit easier if you are in leading group. This weekend it is like a victory for us.”un

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