Red Bull sound like sore losers for complaining about the Formula One tyres, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso suggested on Wednesday.
The Spaniard, winner in China in April and Barcelona this month, told reporters at the Monaco Grand Prix that it was up to the champions to explain their comments but offered a theory of his own anyway.
“We know that Barcelona was a good race for us and not so good for some of our competitors,” he said. “Some of these competitors claim to have a super car but the last three pole positions were for another car, when the tyres were new. It sometimes happens when you win too easily for some years, it’s difficult to lose some races after.”
Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel have won the last three championships and have won two of the five races so far this season.
Vettel, the sport’s youngest triple champion at 25, is only four points ahead of Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen with Alonso third and 17 points off the lead.
Red Bull’s billionaire owner Dietrich Mateschitz was quoted after the Spanish race, which saw a blizzard of pitstops and Vettel end up off the podium in fourth place, as saying the Pirelli tyres were damaging the sport.
“Everyone knows what happens here. This has nothing to do with racing anymore. This is a competition in tyre management,” said the Austrian. “Real car racing looks different. Under the given circumstances, we can neither get the best out of our car nor our drivers. There is no more real qualifying and fighting for the pole, as everyone is just saving tyres for the race.”
Mercedes have taken pole position for the past three races, but have struggled to make their tyres last on Sundays and have yet to win this season.
Ferrari have not won in Monaco since Michael Schumacher triumphed in 2001 but Alonso has won there for Renault and McLaren and can become the first driver to take three victories in the principality for three different teams.
The Spaniard said that alone was a considerable boost for the weekend ahead.
“Obviously we want to win the championship but Monaco is a special race. Monaco is the most important race in the championship. Everyone in any country has heard about the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indy 500 and Le Mans,” he said.
“It’s many years that Ferrari cannot win here. Also for me personally I can be the first man to win for three different teams so for sure it’s a huge motivation to do it.”
Mercedes remained his favourites for the race, if they take a fourth successive pole, but Alonso said he could live with that if it proved to be an exception.
“If they are on pole position maybe they are favourites here but we cannot forget our main target which is the championship and at the moment Vettel and Raikkonen are in front of us,” he declared. “So if Mercedes has to win one race maybe, and this is the one, we just need to concentrate on finishing in front of the others.”