Sep.8 (GMM) Recently the runaway championship leader, Fernando Alonso is now firmly on the back foot after yet another problem at Monza.

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari
Fernando Alonso, Ferrari

Photo by: xpb.cc

Before the now-banned Romain Grosjean destroyed his race at Spa, Spaniard Alonso's lead in the drivers' championship was a substantial 40 points.

That crash makes it 24 now, and then the glitches started rolling in front of Ferrari's famous Tifosi on Friday.

In Monza practice, Alonso had gearbox, brake and gearbox problems, and then all was going well in qualifying as he and teammate Felipe Massa gave each other 'tows' on the Autodromo's long straights.

Then it all went wrong again. While Brazilian Massa staked his claim on a new contract by qualifying third, Alonso was far adrift in 'Q3', and just P10 for Sunday.

"I think he (Alonso) had a problem," Massa said.

Alonso confirmed that "something broke" on his F2012, and team boss Stefano Domenicali said he thinks it was a rear roll-bar.

So as predicted by Alonso on Friday, McLaren dominated qualifying, with Lewis Hamilton on pole ahead of his teammate Jenson Button.

The Spaniard, Alonso, was quoted by AS newspaper: "As we said in Belgium, if we can not win then the best news is that McLaren is strongest.

"One (Hamilton) is 47 points behind, the other (Button) 63, so we can afford for them to win a few times without too much worry."

Alonso's closest points challenger, Sebastian Vettel, qualified fifth at Monza.