Civil war, with Fernando Alonso right in the middle, has erupted within the ranks at Ferrari after a qualifying blunder by the team at their home Italian Grand Prix.
Earlier at Monza, even though the Red Bull switch rumours have ended, Formula 1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone let slip that he thinks that the Spaniard is “not happy” at Ferrari.
The Italian team has been playing down reports of tension between Alonso and Luca di Montezemolo, but the Ferrari president was visibly furious after qualifying at Monza – and refusing to give interviews.
Alonso had complained on the radio that teammate Felipe Massa did not cooperate in an attempt to give the Maranello number one a high-speed slipstream.
La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Alonso was livid over the radio “You’re really idiots. Mamma mia guys.” He later yelled: “Massa is too far away!” The report points out that some heard Alonso use the word ‘geniuses’, sarcastically, rather than “idiots”.
He qualified fifth, behind Massa, and reportedly slammed the team on the radio afterwards. According to former Ferrari driver Jean Alesi, the Spaniard told his team members they are “stupid”.
Another report quoted Alonso saying in Italian: “You have to let [Massa] go!”
Although he put on a brave face when speaking to reporters afterwards, insisting that it had been “a good qualifying”, it is possible that Alonso’s dream relationship with Ferrari if not over, is heading for a breakdown.
Earlier on Saturday, McLaren’s Jenson Button was quoted by Brazil’s Totalrace: “I heard an interesting rumour today.
“Someone told me about Fernando going to McLaren. I don’t know if it will happen – he didn’t exactly leave McLaren in a good way [in 2007],” he added. “Let’s wait and see.”
After Saturday’s events, Eddie Jordan also smells a rat.
“Fernando’s not a happy boy,” the ex Formula 1 team owner said on British television BBC. “We could be watching something unfold here that we were not expecting.”
Meanwhile immediately after Monza qualifying Alonso was put on a brave face, saying that qualifying actually “went well considering how the last qualifying [sessions] were”.
“It was a good Saturday,” he is quoted by the Spanish sports newspaper AS. “The car has become competitive again because in recent weeks we were far behind. We can no longer have a funeral every Saturday, because there is a car (Red Bull) that is first and second. Hulkenberg (third) is a surprise.”
“We cannot compete with Red Bull – we have not done so all weekend, but the race is tomorrow and we will try to [finish] as high [up] as possible. I will try to win if Vettel does not go away in the first part of the race – and there is a storm forecast for the afternoon,” added Alonso.
The Spaniard also played down being outqualified by teammate Massa.
“You talk about it, but I think that in 100 grands prix, I was ahead maybe 82 times,” he told Antena 3 television. (GMM-Apex)
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