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Press is trying to create rifts, says Alonso

9 September 2013

Media coverage of seemingly critical comments that Fernando Alonso made over the team radio to the Ferrari pit wall at the end of Saturday qualifying was a case of people trying to cause a rift between the team and the drivers, according to Alonso.

"Some people still try to create some tension between team and driver but here is the better symbol," he said when talking with Jean Alesi and John Surtees as part of the post-race podium celebrations at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza. "Zero tension and we fight for the championship always," he insisted.

Later in the press conference he continued to fume at the way the story had been reported. "It's the third or fourth consecutive race that some people have tried to create some tension between the team and the drivers," he pointed out.

"We come to the press conference, we explain everything but obviously this doesn't sell so many newspapers," he added, referring to this as "normality."

Alonso went on to insist that he still had the full support not only of the team and Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo but also of the Tifosi, as was demonstrated by their fanatical support for the two-time world champion when he took second place at Monza.

"Every time I leave an airport, the hotel, home, everywhere – here in Italy there's huge support, huge love from them and me to them as well and to the team," Alonso insisted. "We keep repeating this and we saw today on the podium maybe not many of them read the newspapers in the morning, luckily."

It's a particularly sensitive time for Alonso to be besieged by press reports, which were as fervent as ever in Italy the morning after the Italian Grand Prix. with rumours suggesting that Kimi Raikkonen is imminently about to be confirmed as heading into the team for 2014 in place of Felipe Massa, while others are connecting Sauber's Nico Hulkenberg with the seat.

"We will see what happens," said Alonso when asked what he expected the team to announce regarding the second car. "It is a team decision - all the names for me are the same. I have a huge respect for Felipe. He is a great professional driver working hard in the simulator and with the team.

"I don't want to talk about any [alternative] names," he added. "If the team decide to keep Felipe I will be only happy."

Alonso said that he had no concerns that if the team opted to replace Massa with a big hitter like Raikkonen, he might not be able to rely on the same level of on-track loyal support from his team mate in races next season as he has in 2012 and 2013.

"I think so because this is Ferrari," he told Sky Sports F1 when asked if Raikkonen would ever defer to Alonso if the situation required it. "There is not any super power in terms of driver decision or anything like that, it's the same for Felipe and it's the same for myself if it arrives the moment that I need to help another team-mate to win the championship."

As for this year, Alonso admitted that the title chances were slipping away form him and that matters were largely out of Ferrari's hands at this point of the season.

"We need to be realistic about the championship now there's a very big gap," he conceded. "We don't have enough races and probably we don't have the speed right now to win some consecutive races and hope to reduce the gap just by pace. We need to be lucky and we need to have some DNFs from Sebastian or something to win the championship."

Not that Alonso was giving up, however.

"There's still a long way to go; we will try until the last race to be as good as we can and score as many points as possible and then in Brazil we will see how many points we have compared to him."


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