There's no business like show-business...


In an interview with Spain's Radio Marca, Fernando Alonso has launched an astonishing attack on championship rival Michael Schumacher, accusing the German of being "unsporting" and receiving help from Formula One's 'powers that be'.

The Spaniard began by comparing Schumacher to Zinedine Zidane, the French footballing legend who was disgraced during this summer's World Cup final for head-butting Italy's Marco Materazz, albeit under extreme provocation.

"Zidane retired with more glory than Schumacher," said the Renault driver. "Michael is the most unsporting driver with the largest number of sanctions in the history of Formula One.

"That doesn't take away from the fact that he has been the best driver," he admitted, "and it has been an honour and pleasure to battle against him. "Everyone has their time and you have to respect his decision. Things will be more equal now."

Referring to what many say is bias towards Schumacher, and indeed Ferrari, Alonso said: "In Formula One there are commercial and political interests. We are talking about the most successful driver in history and a little bit of help has never gone amiss. Quite often they go over the line of what is acceptable and it is inexplicable."

The reigning World Champion is still smarting from the penalty meted out to him for allegedly impeding Ferrari's Felipe Massa during qualifying, a move which cost the Renault driver 5 grid spots.

"No one is going to believe the penalty I was given for a long time to come," he said. "The excuse they gave was far from honest, and it isn't good for our sport.

"Sometimes you think about not racing, but you get over that quickly enough and put on you helmet. I was 100 percent convinced that no matter where I started I could earn some points and stay ahead.

"One thing I am clear about, though, is that he who laughs last, laughs longest," he added. "Anyone can win the remaining races and if we get things right in two of the three races that are left the world championship will be ours."

Of course, Alonso's comments regarding Schumacher will result in more column inches in newspapers, more coverage on TV news broadcasts and on non-F1 websites, which is exactly what the people behind F1 want, after all, all publicity is good publicity.

Having secured what appears to be a down to the wire title fight, we now have the added bonus of personal antipathy between the two protagonists, which should particularly appeal to 'Neanderthal down the pub' who wouldn't normally give F1 a second thought.

There's no business like show-business...

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Published: 12/09/2006
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