Fernando Alonso's car suffered 'big damage' after he was run off the track while trying to pass Sebastian Vettel, his Ferrari team has revealed.
Vettel was handed a drive-through penalty for not leaving Alonso a wide enough gap on the outside of the Curva Grande as they battled for position. Alonso eventually recovered to overtake Vettel a few laps later, but it was only after the race that Ferrari discovered how lucky the Spaniard had been.
Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali said: "We had a problem with the car and if you see, it has big damage on the left rear and also there was something broken from a mechanical point of view.
"We told him at the end not to go on the curbs because he could have had a bigger problem. I am pleased that he finished the race."
Although Red Bull and Vettel did not believe that the incident warranted a penalty, Domenicali believes the stewards did the right thing because of the recent rules clarification by the FIA about defensive driving.
"After what happened in Bahrain there was a clarification from race control that the driver in front has to leave space if there is a part of the car that is approaching that is already beside," he explained. "I heard people ask why last year [Alonso] was not penalized [after a similar incident]. What I can say is that it was a different situation.
"If you look at the slow motion, even if it is not really correct to look at slow motion because they are racing live at 300kph, it is totally different and this year it is a different rule."