Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso insist that their first lap clash in the Spanish Grand Prix won't affect their racing relationship, even though the Spaniard continues to claim that he was hard done by.

Alonso drafted poleman Massa down the long drag to turn one at the Circuit de Catalunya, before trying to brave it out around the outside of the corner. Appearing to pinch the Ferrari at the apex, the two made contact, with the result that the world champion speared off across the gravel, rejoining in fourth place, narrowly avoiding the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen as he did so.

Opinions on the incident varied - as they always do - with Massa feeling that he had done nothing wrong after being left with nowhere to go and Alonso believing that he had done enough to claim the corner.

"It was very tight," the Spaniard admitted, "I think the start was very similar between the two cars but then, obviously, I put myself behind Felipe and, thanks to the slipstream, I was a little bit quicker. I went on the outside, braked later and I think I was much in front of him in the first corner - but, unfortunately, he didn't think so and we touched each other.

"I think we were lucky to both finish the race because, in 99 per cent of these type of incidents, both cars will finish at the first corner. Sometimes, I think this type of thing is very dangerous."

Picked up on the last word of his explanation, Alonso backtracked slightly, but maintained his claim that Massa was the aggressor in the incident.

"I don't want to say anything that you should believe, or should not believe," he tried to explain, "I think what I mean is that, in this type of incident, 99 per cent of the time both cars will finish in the first corner - as we saw in GP2. I think, when you are fighting for the championship, it is very risky to be as aggressive as this in the first corner, and I only mean that. We were lucky today that both cars finished, one first and one third, and, thanks to that, the incident will become a little less important.

"You will keep asking me until I say something wrong and I will not say [any more]. I think what I mean is that it was a very risky point in the race and I nearly finished my race in the first corner, unfortunately, when I felt that I went into the corner a little in front of the other car."

Massa's view was naturally at odds with the world champions, the Brazilian feeling that he had done enough to claim the corner.

"It was a little bit tight for both of us, but I was just inside and went for it," he said, "It was quite a risk for both of us but, looking at the competition and everything, the first corner is important. I just didn't want to lose out like I lost out in Malaysia. I was inside, so I just tried to stay there.

"We were both very close. Fernando was trying to push me inside and we just touched each other. It was a very small contact, but I was also a bit afraid for my car afterwards. But I was inside, I had the car inside, so I don't understand his point. It was just a normal race accident and, as long as I am inside, close to the car going to the first corner, I will keep there. I will not move. So, if somebody was aggressive, it was Fernando, it was not me.

Alonso hinted that the incident could have been a matter for the stewards, but acknowledged that there would be various interpretations of what happened.

"I don't know," he said, "I think the stewards are a little bit up and down. They investigated me last year at Monza when I was half a kilometre in front of the other car, but maybe this year they don't investigate too much these things.

"I think the incident is one for which everyone can have his own opinion but, if you look at my car, at my sidepod and the rear side of the car, it is completely touched. I think that shows everybody who arrived first into the corner."

Both drivers were in agreement, however, when asked whether their on-track relationship would be altered by the clash.

"It will not change anything," Alonso insisted, "We were racing and these things happen. As I said before, these things normally have both cars DNF, so we were lucky to finish. But nothing's changed."



Loading Comments...