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Alonso downplays "idiot" comments

NEWS STORY
07/09/2013

Maurizio Quarta writes:

Fernando Alonso has downplayed comments he made over his radio to his team during today's qualifying session.

Shortly after the end of the session, in which he qualified fifth, behind his teammate, it emerged that the Spaniard had reacted angrily over his radio.

"You're idiots, real idiots," he is quoted as saying. "Mamma mia guys, you ruined my session."

At one stage he is even said to have asked his engineer Andrea Stella where he was eating tonight.

The comments came at a time when the company president Luca di Montezemolo was in the Ferrari garage with a number of other high profile guests including Piero Ferrari and Flavio Briatore.

Over the summer break, Montezemolo rebuked the Spaniard for comments he had made to the media about his car, the two-time world champion, when asked what he wanted for his birthday, responding "another car".

The rebuke led to speculation that all was not well and gradually snowballed leading to claims that the Spaniard was seeking to take Mark Webber's seat at Red Bull next season.

During today's qualifying session Ferrari returned to a tactic it used in 2012, running Felipe Massa ahead of Alonso in order that the Spaniard would benefit from a slipstream tow around the superfast circuit. Told to get closer to Massa, Alonso responded that the Brazilian driver was too far ahead.

As news of the radio outburst spread through the paddock, adding further fuel to a fire that is already burning, Alonso was quick to downplay the situation.

"The radio message... some are trying to say I was angry," he told reporters. They didn't put the last radio message, when I said; 'thank you to Felipe and thank you to the team'.

"This is the first time in many, many races that I will be able to see the Red Bull rear wings on the grid and on the first lap I can attack," he added. "On the first corner I can attack."

As for the use of the term 'idiots', the Spaniard claims he was misunderstood and that he used a word which in fact translates as 'genius'.

"The word 'genius' refers to the fact that we could have got out before Rosberg had gone by on his quick lap, but this should not raise any doubts about the impeccable job from the whole team.,” he said.

Asked directly about the tactic that failed, he said: "We had always me following Felipe. And then on the last run we had Vergne between us in Turn 4. I was ready to take the slipstream of Vergne because he seemed to want to follow Felipe so I prepared the tyres a little and then Vergne let me by and I had no-one in front.

"So I said; 'maybe Felipe is a little too far (ahead) now if we want to do this'. So they slowed him down and he waited for me a little in Parabolica and we started the last attempt more or less the same distance as before.

"So I say thank you to the team and to Felipe for this tenth (of a second), that helped me to do the last attempt in Q3."

While that is the official version, the Italian media sees it slightly differently and essentially claims the Spaniard was "fuori di melone” (out of his head).

It remains to be seen how Montezemolo and friends see it

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by AlbertoDietz, 07/09/2013 23:01

"Luca and Elkann are not exactly amused with Big Girl's Blouse. Kick the bum out of Ferrari!!"

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Marybeth, 07/09/2013 21:20

"After Hungary FA was rumored to go to RBR. After Spa he was rumored to go to Lotus with Santander money. At Monza he is rumored to go to McLaren. Maybe Massa will be staying & Alonso will be out...?"

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by Kkiirmki, 07/09/2013 20:44

"It would be rather funny to see Alonso dropped by Ferrari to make way for Kimi. Maybe Massa is safe after all?"

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4. Posted by Carugatese, 07/09/2013 19:59

"The sigle episode is undoubtedly the typical storm in a cupboard, but at the same time it could be a snowball turning in a snowfall, because these are silly words said in the wrong place and in a ruinosly wrong moment."

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5. Posted by Spindoctor, 07/09/2013 19:35

"Not sure what's going on with Alonso. I hope this really is the proverbial storm in a teacup and that it's just a bit of stress an that 'Latin' temperament.
I'm not an Alonso fan, but it would be a real shame to loose such a fast driver from a competitive team (to the extent that anyone can compete with 'Team Newey')."

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6. Posted by JackTheCat, 07/09/2013 17:48

"I said when he signed it was only a matter of time before the real Alonso surfaces and when he does Ferrari would not take kindly to it..... is this that time or is this just a storm in a teacup? Time will tell!"

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7. Posted by Jackal, 07/09/2013 17:39

"Sorry, but this guy really needs to be put in his place. Ferrari should can him and sign Kimi, in his place IMO."

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