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Briatore attempts to allay Alonso's fears

NEWS STORY
06/10/2006

Talking at Suzuka ahead of today's opening practice session, Renault boss Flavio Briatore revealed that he had spoken to Fernando Alonso in an attempt to convince the Spaniard that the team is 100 percent behind him, following his admission that at times this season he has felt "alone".

"I talked with Fernando and Fisi yesterday," Briatore told reporters, "Sometimes we talk about frustration and pressure, and this and that. However, I don't think there is any problem, maybe there is some more motivation for this weekend."

Referring to Alonso's particular comment that he felt "alone", the Italian said: "Fernando said this already last year at one point. I think maybe once a year he does that. Now he's done it, he will be okay for the last two races."

Other than a poor strategic choice regarding tyres at the first stop, for which Alonso was partly responsible, the Spaniard's race was damaged by a 'botched' second stop, when a crew member dropped a wheel nut. Briatore denies that this cost him the race.

"Really the only one heavy mistake was in Budapest," said the Italian. "On Sunday I don't believe that the pitstop had any influence on the race. It looked bad, but we lost 10 points in Budapest, that is the reality."

As for Alonso's claim that teammate Fisichella should have helped Alonso at Shanghai, instead of overtaking the (struggling) Spaniard and getting on with his own race, Briatore said: "There was no question for Fisi to overtake. It was impossible to keep Fisi behind in second.

"We never expected the graining to be for so long. We expected to have some graining, we changed the tyre only because it was the request of the driver."

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