Having initially questioned his rival's driving after being bundled out of the Japanese Grand Prix
at turn one, Fernando Alonso
insists that no apology is required from Kimi Raikkonen.
The pair found themselves pushed together as the field funnelled into the first corner at Suzuka, with the Finn's front wing causing a puncture in Alonso's right rear Pirelli. As the tyre deflated rapidly, the Spaniard spun onto the grass on the outside of the circuit and then back onto the road as the tail-enders followed through, before finding that he was unable to rejoin the fray.
Combined with Sebastian Vettel
romping to his third win of the year, the DNF slashed Alonso's points advantage from 29 to just four heading to this weekend's Korean Grand Prix
but, after the furore surrounding Raikkonen's Lotus team-mate Romain Grosjean
- who apologised to Mark Webber
after colliding with the Australian at the same corner - Alonso insisted that he was not expecting the Finn to come and speak to him.
"I think, in the start in Suzuka, it was very tight between all of us," he reasoned, "That's the problem of starting in the middle of the group - I had Jenson [Button] on the right, Kimi on the left and you cannot disappear in those moments. It was an unlucky situation with the front wing of Kimi and my rear tyre. After the puncture, I could not start the car on the corner, so it was a mix of things that were not in our [favour]."
Despite the setback, which has had many switching their prediction for champion to Vettel, Alonso remains optimistic that his chances have not disappeared entirely, reflecting on his retirements from the Belgian and Japanese grands prix, and the similar setbacks to have affected Vettel, in Italy, and Lewis Hamilton, in Singapore.
"You know, in the last six, seven races, one or two have gone wrong [for us], and one or two will go wrong for the others," he noted.