Ferrari's Fernando Alonso has said he is 'disappointed' with himself for having jumped the start at the beginning of Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit, the fourth round on the F1 2010 schedule.
Alonso, who started third, got ahead of both the Red Bulls, however, it was clear he had been overly eager to get off the line and was later handed a drive-through by the stewards for gaining an unfair advantage.
Although the Spaniard was able to battle his way back, in part due to a second safety car period on lap 22, which bunched up the field, the penalty effectively ruined his afternoon.
"I made a serious mistake at the start as my reflexes let me down and I left early. It's never happened to me before and I am very disappointed with myself," Alonso stated. "Luckily though, despite the penalty, I managed to finish fourth.
"In a race like this, anything can happen. We did five pit stops to change tyres, which is definitely unusual: all in all, I think we took the right decisions at the right time. In a race like this you only understand at the end what would have been the best thing to do, as neither on the pit wall nor in the car do we have a crystal ball!
"The passing move on Felipe [Massa]? If he was not my team-mate, there wouldn't be so much talk about it and for me it was a normal move and it definitely won't compromise our relationship."
Meanwhile, looking ahead Alonso remains bullish about his prospects for the F1 2010 season, and his ability to try and win his third drivers' crown.
"The start of the championship has gone well: we have shown we are competitive on all the tracks and we have what it takes to win the title," Alonso added. "We have a great potential and we must hope now we get some normal races like the one in Bahrain.
"Clearly, we have to up our points tally and improve our qualifying performance. McLaren deserve the top spot, because even though they might not have the best car they have got the most out of it every time."